Police, family search for missing Jay County woman - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Police, family search for missing Jay County woman

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Brianna DiBattiste was last seen June 16. Brianna DiBattiste was last seen June 16.
Julie Hunt, Brianna's mother, fears her daughter's disappearance may be drug-related. Julie Hunt, Brianna's mother, fears her daughter's disappearance may be drug-related.
ALBANY, Ind. -

The search continues for a missing woman, who her mother fears could be connected to a dangerous drug.

Julie Hunt is desperately searching for her daughter Brianna DiBattiste who has been missing for three weeks.

Seven police departments are helping in the search.

The 25-year-old was last seen June 16 in Dunkirk, Indiana.

Hunt says Brianna is a heroin addict, and she fears people won't help in the search for her daughter because of it.

"I'm afraid they're saying just another junkie," Hunt said. "No, she's not just another junkie. She is my daughter."

A growing stack of photos, file folders and flyers fill the corner of Hunt's living room.

They are symbols of the desperate search.

"These are phone numbers, leads, pictures. It doesn't even seem real. It just consumes me," she whispered.

Her daughter has been missing for three weeks. Now Hunt, too, is lost. She fears her daughter is in danger.

"Our family is not whole without Brianna," Hunt said. "I miss her. I would give my life. If somebody's got her, take me! Take me, because I want my baby back. Oh my God," she cried.

Brianna is a brunette, and is 5'5 and 110 pounds. She was last seen June 16 in Dunkirk, Indiana, in Jay County, where she lives.

She doesn't have a driver's license, so her family says she couldn't drive herself somewhere.

Her phone hasn't been used in weeks. Police checked phone records and the last calls were from the day she disappeared. She didn't take clothing or a suitcase and she hasn't contacted family, which they say is unusual, since they're very close.

Police from seven departments are helping with the investigation, including police from Albany, Dunkirk, Muncie, Jay County, Delaware County, Indiana State Police, and Dayton, Ohio.

"It is a tough case," said Albany Police Chief Shannon Henry. "There's a lot of places to look, people to interview, people to talk to. She (Brianna) knew a lot of people."

The concern, from family, is those people - dangerous ones, her mom says.

Julie thinks drugs may have something to do with Brianna's disappearance. That's why police are searching in Dayton, where they say locals in the Delaware and Jay County areas are getting their heroin.

Investigators say they're not interested in looking into Brianna or her friends' drug activity. They just want to make sure Brianna's safe.

Meanwhile, mom just wants her daughter back.

"I wish I knew where she was. I need her home," Hunt said.

If you've seen Brianna DiBattiste, call the Dunkirk Police Department at 765-768-6061 or the Albany Police Department at 765-789-6151.

Her family has also set up a Facebook page to help with the search: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FindingBrianna/

As for the heroin epidemic here in Indiana, it's being addressed head-on this week. There's a community conversation Wednesday, co-hosted by St. Vincent Hospital Indianapolis and the Department of Public Safety. A panel of healthcare, emergency medical service, stress and public safety experts will join with members of the Indianapolis community to discuss the growing problem of heroin use and identify ways to combat it.

The event is at 6 p.m. today at St.Vincent Hospital Indianapolis, 2001 W. 86th St. (Entrance 8).

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