UPDATE: Kathleen Lofland has been found safe as of Thursday afternoon. Original story below.
STOCKWELL, Ind. (WLFI) - A Stockwell family is searching for their daughter. Kathleen Lofland has been missing since October 5th.
If you look closely at the flag pole outside the Lauramie Township Fire Department, you'll see a dedication to the Lofland family for taking part in the Keep Stockwell Beautiful initiative.
"Placing flowers and stuff around town, picking up trash, trying to keep it looking nice," said Richard Lofland, Kathleen's father.
One name etched in the stone is causing the family heartache. Richard said his 16-year-old daughter hasn't been seen or heard from since Saturday.
"She went for a bike ride and never came back home," he said. He later said that she didn't take anything else with her besides the clothes on her back and her bike.
The family and police suspect that she ran away, something that Richard said she's done several times before. She was last seen riding her bike on 900 South near James Cole Elementary.
"Our thought was she was heading towards Lafayette towards Walmart on Veterans Memorial Parkway," he said, adding that Kathleen is familiar with the back roads needed to get her to the Walmart. Below is a picture of the same type of bike she would be riding.
A group of about 50 people gathered on Tuesday to search around the Concord area. An alert was posted on the Clarks Hill-Lauramie Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page calling on people to help find Kathleen. As of Wednesday evening, the post has nearly 1,500 shares. The Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office sent several deputies and a drone to help in the search.
"It's very heartwarming to see how many people are contacting us, my wife's phone and Facebook have been blowing up with a lot of different people contacting her," said Lofland, who is also a member of the local volunteer fire department. "And for the ones who showed up here, we say thank you very much to those who came out."
Richard's wife told News 18 over Facebook that Kathleen was adopted at the age of two and has had a tough childhood. Richard fondly remembers teaching her how to tie her shoes and taking the training wheels off her bike.
"When she first came to us she had trouble reading, so I would read to her and once she started she really took off," he said.
The parents are pleading for their daughter to come home.
"She won't believe me, but I love her very much and we're concerned for her safety and her best place is at home," he said.
"We love her very very much," said Kathleen's mom, Laura, via Facebook Messenger. "And just want her to come home safe."
The family said they aren't planning another search until they have more leads. If you have any information about Kathleen's whereabouts, contact TCSO at 765-423-9388.
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