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3rd ID soldier still missing

POSTED: January 16, 2009 11:46 a.m.
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Sgt. Charlana McKenzie

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SAVANNAH — The search continued through Thursday for a Fort Stewart soldier who was reported missing after she failed to pick up her teenage daughter from school Monday.
Sgt. Charlana McKenzie, 32, was last seen by her 14-year-old daughter Sunday night at their Savannah home, Savannah-Chatham County police spokeswoman Judy Pal said. The daughter normally goes to school after McKenzie heads to work at Fort Stewart, but she told police her mother picks her up every afternoon.
Though police aren’t saying they suspect foul play, Pal said the circumstances were alarming enough to launch an intensive search and alert authorities in neighboring states such as Florida and South Carolina.
“Our biggest concern is that she’s very dedicated to her child and this is completely out of character for this woman,” Pal said. “She’s never gone missing like this. It’s very strange.”
Fort Stewart officials called McKenzie’s mother, Deborah Scott, after the Army health care specialist didn’t report for duty. Scott, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio, called Savannah police on Tuesday.
“She would not leave her daughter or leave her job,” Scott said. “I’m in shock. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions. I’m just holding on.”
Sitting in the sparsely furnished living room of the Savannah duplex where McKenzie lives, Scott said her granddaughter noticed nothing wrong at the house when she got ready for school Monday morning and noted her mother had left her lunch money on the kitchen counter.
Scott said relatives have called McKenzie’s cell phone and sent her text messages, but received no replies.
Pal said investigators were interviewing Scott and other family members.
 

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