New info connects man to white car sought by investigators in Maddie Bell case

New information in Maddie Bell case

GREENFIELD, Ohio (FOX19) - The public is being asked to help search this weekend for a missing 18-year-old southern Ohio teenager, Madison Bell.

Rescue 101 Search & Rescue and Texas EquuSearch are looking for volunteers to join a large-scale search on foot and by ATV, according to the Facebook page Madison Bell Search.

Maddie’s family brought Rescue 101 SAR in, and that organization reached out to Texas EquuSearch, a non-profit dedicating to finding missing people.

Searchers are asked to arrive at 8 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday to sign in at the Madison Township Community Center, 12646 Centerfield Rd., Greenfield. Organizers hope to search throughout the day and into the evening.

Searchers must be over the age of 18 and present a valid photo ID.

David Rader, director of Ohio’s chapter of Texas EquuSearch, said the search would “go deep” and could span more than 15 miles from where Maddie was last seen.

“I’m bringing in everything I got. We are going wide. You always start at the point where they were last seen and then you feather out. It’s a lot of farm fields.”

More than 400 volunteers are expected. The nonprofit says it will use drones, ATVs and possibly horses if needed.

Rader says he has no reason to be looking for a body: “We’re staying optimistic she could still come home.”

Bell, who goes by “Maddie,” was last seen leaving her house in Greenfield Sunday and has not returned, according to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office.

Maddie’s mother has said her daughter told her as she left the house she going to a tanning appointment. Her boyfriend, Cody Mann, told FOX19 NOW Tuesday he was at the house, too.

Investigators said they found her car abandoned in the parking lot of Good Shepherd Church nearby with her keys and cell phone inside later that day.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s office released several photos in connection with her disappearance, including a photo of a white vehicle and another one showing a man they are trying to identify.

On Friday investigators revealed the man was seen in the parking lot of Good Shepherd Church the day of Maddie’s disappearance. He then drove the white car across the street to the Country Corner Market where he went inside before returning to the church lot prior to Maddie’s disappearance.

FOX19 NOW asked Maddie’s parents if they recognize the man in the photo. They say they do not, though Mann says he feels like he’s seen the man before, he just doesn’t know where.

Investigators have the car, which belongs to Maddie, according to the sheriff’s office.

The white car is being sought in connection with her disappearance. Investigators believe it may have California tags.

Bell's car was found abandoned in a church parking lot.
Bell's car was found abandoned in a church parking lot. (Source: Highland County Sheriff's Office)
The sheriff's office released this picture of a white car in connection to missing 18-year-old Maddie Bell.
The sheriff's office released this picture of a white car in connection to missing 18-year-old Maddie Bell. (Source: Highland County Sheriff's Office)

In the time since Maddie’s disappearance, volunteers have descended upon Highland County and fanned out across the region, disbursing flyers as far away as Kentucky.

The FBI has joined in the search as well.

Texas EquuSearch also was out searching Thursday and also had drones out.

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Anyone with information on her disappearance is being asked to call the hotline at 844.727.9111 or the Highland County Sheriff’s Office at 937.393.1421.

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