Villages and cities across Alaska pay tribute to missing 10 year-old girl from Kotzebue

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Across the state, from Kotzebue to Anchorage, Utqiagvik to Shishmaref, hundreds of people marched, prayed, wore purple and sang to honor a missing 10-year-old girl.

Ashley Johnson-Barr has been missing since Sept. 6, she was last seen at Rainbow Park in Kotzebue. Now, state and federal law enforcement officials are treating her disappearance as a criminal investigation.

There are 27 law enforcement officers searching for Ashley, 11 Alaska State Troopers, 12 FBI agents, three Kotzebue police officers and a VPSO.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Jonathon Taylor said there is talk about cycling some of those crews out for fresh ones. He also said numerous tips have come in, although no new clues, except Ashley's Samsung smart phone, have been found.

[RELATED: No plan to scale down search as efforts move toward investigation]

Her father says the fifth-grade elementary student loves basketball, picking berries with her mother, and is an honor student. In a phone call from Kotzebue, Scott Barr said he wanted to thank everyone for searching for his daughter. He also said the support he's received, and the walks in support from around the state give him hope.

"I want to thank them so much for doing the walks, like we've been doing here, and them getting us prayers and hope still," Barr said. "I can't imagine anything else, I have a loss of words of how many people around the state, as well as Lower 48, that are 100 percent behind us."

In the coastal community of Shishmaref, drone footage shot by Dennis Davis shows the community walking down the road, finally coming together at a basketball court in the playground. He says about half the village walked for Ashley.

Facebook profiles have changed across the state to show families wearing purple or purple hearts to honor Ashley.

In Anchorage during community walk for Ashley Thursday night Tiffany Gooden-Ramoth started crying when talking about the missing 10 year-old.

"Everybody is praying and hoping that she comes home," Gooden-Ramoth said.



 
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