LEICESTER – Authorities are still searching for a woman with a developmental disability who went missing Monday.
Sheriff Thomas Dougherty said in a press conference that Starrlita Smith, 21, might not want to be found and could pose a danger to herself.
“In this case, her parents were having a private discussion and she left through a side door without them noticing,” said Dougherty. “It’s important that she may not want to be found. She may be defiant and not want to be found so she may give a bad name, and by ‘bad name’ I mean call herself some other name that isn’t her real name. So all those things we need to take into account with this case.”
Dougherty urged residents in the area of Perry Road and River Road in Leicester to check their properties, vehicles and outbuildings for Smith, who could be taking shelter there.
Dougherty said that Smith functions similar to a 6 to 12-year-old child.
The Sheriff’s Office, State Police and DEC are using resources to find Smith. Sheriff’s DEC and State Police K9’s, Sheriff’s drones, and a State Police helicopter are actively searching an area described as ‘less than one square mile.’
“Is there possibility that she’s found shelter, she’s found food, yeah there’s definitely that possibility,” said Dougherty. “There’s also a possibility that she was picked up by someone immediately coming through.”