The mother of a missing 10-year-old Washington girl believes her daughter is alive but has been kidnapped and taken out of the area.
Melissa Baum said she thinks her little girl Lindsey, who vanished Friday night, was snatched and is no longer in their hometown.
"I don’t think she’s in McCleary. I don’t," Baum told The Daily World of Aberdeen, Wash. "Why would they keep her in McCleary? Whoever took her went on the freeway. There are three ways to get out of McCleary and all three ways there are freeways within five or 10 minutes."
Baum said she hasn't given up hope.
"I feel it in my heart that she’s alive," she told the paper. "I’m just trying really hard not to focus on the other things so I don’t fall apart. Because I know in my heart she’s still alive. But every hour that goes by, I just keep getting more and more anxious because how much time do we have left?"
The worried mother pleaded with whoever might have taken her daughter to let her go, according to the World.
"I’m begging whoever had her will take her to a gas station or a grocery store or a restaurant where she can go to a pay phone and call 911 and say ‘I’m Lindsey Baum’ so we can trace her and find her," Baum said. "Just let her go. Give her a chance. Let her come home."
Meanwhile, the hunt for the girl expanded on Tuesday. Searchers on horseback looked for signs of Lindsey in McCleary and on nearby trails in areas they could reach.
A dive team was called in to search through swamps and creeks, and a National Guard helicopter shot aerial photos that were being analyzed, the World reported. The FBI is helping in the search.
On Tuesday night, friends and townspeople gathered in the small Western Washington community for a candlelight vigil for Lindsey, who has been missing since Friday night when she went to play with a friend.
Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott says several tips have been received, and investigators would like to talk to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in McCleary between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday when the little girl failed to return home from the friend's house.
Lindsey is 4 foot-9, 80 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, last seen wearing a light blue hooded pullover shirt and blue jeans.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Grays Harbor Emergency 911 Center at (360) 533-8765.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.