Search for Lincoln teen continues

Published 12:44 pm Thursday, November 14, 2019

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Family offers $3K reward

MORELAND – Flyers and signs with the face of a 14-year-old Lincoln County girl are covering the area as her family is doing everything they can to locate her.

Summer Denney was last seen walking on Harris Creek Road, after leaving the Kentucky Highway 2141 area, where she lives, on foot.

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It was about noon on Nov. 5 when she was last seen or heard from and with each day that passes, the family grows more concerned.

Andria Mattingly, Summer’s mother, has spent countless hours preparing and printing flyers, and seeking information that might help find her daughter.

Friends and family gathered at the Mattingly residence Tuesday night, after reporting that Summer had not been seen since earlier that day, and conducted a search of the area on foot.

Mattingly said she called the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office as soon as Summer left and a deputy was sent to the residence Tuesday evening to begin an investigation.

That was the last time she saw a deputy until Friday, Nov. 8, she said, when law enforcement received a tip that Summer was seen on Bowen Spur Road. Deputies, as well as Sheriff Curt Folger responded to the area to search.

Summer’s family has been frustrated with the response from local law enforcement, Mattingly said.

“What I can’t stand hearing, and I’ve heard it over and over, is that she’s a ‘runaway.’ So, they wouldn’t release her information to the news channels until today (Nov. 8), because she’s a ‘runaway’,” Mattingly said. “I said ‘Ok, yes, she ran away, but she’s a 14 year-old child and has been missing, at this point in time, it had been over 60 hours.”

Over the weekend, Summer’s information and last seen location was shared across multiple media outlets.

Despite the frustration, Mattingly said she has continued to pass along any information and tips to law enforcement – tips that Lincoln County Sheriff Curt Folger said he and his deputies have been following up on from day one.

“Right now, we’re following up on all leads,” Folger said Wednesday this week. “We’re trying to locate her and we have multiple agencies helping us in this situation.”

Folger said he has been in touch with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The sheriff said these cases can be emotional and some of the criticism his office has received seems to be misplaced.

“The family doesn’t know what all we’ve been doing,” Folger said. “I think that the frustration of not knowing where their daughter is, is being spoken without thinking. It’s an emotional response, which I can understand to an extent.”

Mattingly said deputies, as well as state police, told her they could not issue an Amber Alert for Summer, because the circumstances of Summer’s case did not “meet the criteria.”

Folger said regardless of the criticism, he’s kept in contact with all parties and immediate family members and continues to work the case.

“We’ve been on this from day one,” he said. “We’ve had people flying drones over areas and we’ve done numerous searches.”

The family has also hired Private Investigator Michael Ward, who has and continues to work on other missing persons cases in the area.

Summer’s father, Charlie Denney, said all he wants is his daughter home.

“I miss her very much,” he said. “I love her.”

Denney has posted numerous flyers around the area as well, and has been sharing all that he can on social media to help spread awareness.

Mattingly has pleaded on her social media pages as well, leaving messages for Summer, just in case she is safe and can see them.

“Summer, if you can see this I just want you to know how much I love you and I’m praying for you to be home with your family safely,” Mattingly wrote on her Facebook page. “I just want to hug and love you. Please come home.”

As of this week, the family is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to Summer’s safe return.