Authorities are searching Monday for a 16-year-old South Carolina girl who mysteriously disappeared after dining with friends at a Chick-fil-A restaurant four days ago and whose cellphone was later found in a hotel parking lot.
No trace of Marley McKenna Spindler has been reported after the teenager was seen by friends leaving the fast food eatery in Myrtle Beach at 7:30 a.m. August 20.
"We love her and we're proud of her and we need her home safe," her father, Jayson Spindler, told FoxNews.com Monday.
The 22-year-old man with whom she left the restaurant -- identified only as "Jeremy" -- has been cleared by police as a person of interest in her disappearance, WBTW-TV reported.
Spindler, a student at Socastee High School, participated in a group text message with friends after leaving the restaurant on Highway 544 in Surfside Beach, according to police. The last message Spindler sent was at 8:42 a.m. Thursday.
Spindler told friends she would be at her high school afterward, but she did not show up for class on the first day of school, MyrtleBeachOnline.com reported.
When Spindler's father called her cellphone at around 4 p.m. Thursday, a clerk with the Ocean Reef Resort answered and said the phone had been found earlier in the day in the hotel's parking lot.
Jayson Spindler told FoxNews.com that investigators are examining his daughter's cell phone for any clues in the case.
"We don’t know if she's alone or with someone," he said, noting that it was "completely out of character" for his daughter to be away from home for an extended period of time.
Authorities said the teenager's 2002 silver Ford Escape -- with South Carolina license plate No. KFI776 -- is also missing.
Lt. Raul Denis of the Horry County Police Department told WBTW that Spindler is considered "Missing Endangered" because of her age and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.
Spindler disappeared not far from where 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel was last seen more than six years ago. Drexel, from Rochester, N.Y., disappeared from the area after leaving the Blue Water Resort on April 25, 2009. She has never been found.
Spindler is described as 5-feet, 8 inches tall, weighing 100 pounds with light brown hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a white flowery tank top and gold sandals, according to a Facebook page created to help find her.
Anyone with information on Spindler's whereabouts is urged to contact the Horry County Police Department at 843-915-8477 (843-915-TIPS).
FoxNews.com's Cristina Corbin contributed to this report.