FBI Joins Search for Missing Arkansas Teen

Officials in Desha County intensified the search for a missing Pine Bluff girl Friday, bringing in more people to scour the area where she was last seen: along a busy highway after running out of gasoline last weekend.

Desha County Sheriff-elect Jim Snyder said contrary to some reports, the search for 17-year-old Casey Crowder, a senior at Watson Chapel High School, was not scaled back.

"We have not scaled anything back," Snyder said. "Today has actually been one of our busiest days."

Desha County Sheriff Don Smith on Thursday had said the search would be scaled back.

Snyder said the ground and air search was expanded Friday, and several people were out on horseback and walking roads, ditches and canals hoping to find any evidence that Crowder was in the area.

Crowder, traveling back from a friend's house in Pickens on Sunday morning, telephoned her mother to say she had run out of gas and would walk to a gas station. She was never heard from again.

Snyder called the search Friday "relatively unproductive," but said officials will continue looking.

"We're getting leads, now that this has gone national, and we're following every lead we can," Snyder said. "We will continue to do so."

The FBI also has joined investigators in looking for Crowder.

Crowder's car was found earlier this week along U.S. 65 south of Dumas, with her purse and cell phone gone but a softball bat and glove left behind. The car was out of gas, and its emergency flashers apparently had run the battery down.

Smith said volunteers searched farmland north and east of Dumas on Thursday before returning to an area they'd searched earlier this week. This includes a Pickens farm where Crowder's boyfriend lives.

"I think we've almost covered the Pickens plantation," Smith said. "We're running down every tip we get but so far we haven't found anybody who has seen or heard anything."

U.S. 65 is a major route, mostly two-lane, between Little Rock and Natchez, Miss.

Crowder has blonde hair, green eyes, is 5-1 and weighs about 105 pounds. She also has a pierced navel.