Police in Minnesota launched a desperate search for a 6-year-old girl who has been missing since her mother was found dead in an apparent suicide over the weekend.
The body of Lisa Wade, 39, was discovered inside her Rice County home by police at around noon on Saturday. However, the woman’s young daughter, Elle Ragin, was nowhere to be found.
Authorities believe Wade’s death — which they said was self-inflicted — is connected to little Elle’s disappearance.
“Police have reason to believe Wade may have been involved in Elle’s disappearance before taking her own life,” the Rice County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Investigators had not found the girl as of Sunday night.
“Authorities are processing the home and Wade’s vehicle for clues and have conducted searches of the area with canine teams, drones and the State Patrol Helicopter with negative results,” the sheriff’s office said.
The office released photos and a description of the girl in hopes of locating her.
Elle is approximately 3 foot 6 inches tall and weighs about 45 pounds. She has brown eyes and curly brown hair, according to the description supplied by the sheriff.
Elle is pictured smiling alongside Wade in two of the photos shared by the sheriff’s office. The image shows the mother-daughter duo wearing matching outfits as Wade beams lovingly at her young daughter.
In another, little Elle is smiling wide at the camera with a flower crown in her hair and a bright red tutu.
“Police are actively investigating this case and are asking for the public’s assistance,” the sheriff’s office said.
Investigators have asked anyone who have seen Elle or Wade in the past two weeks to call Northfield Police at 507-645-4477.
The FBI Minneapolis Field Office and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are assisting local law enforcement with the investigation.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.