Arrest made in case after missing Joplin teen is found

Search Continues For Leora Hardee

JOPLIN, Mo. – Authorities make an arrest in connection to missing Joplin girl Leora Hardee, who was found in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

According to the City of Oconomowoc Police Department, on Nov. 2, 2020, a 14-year-old girl was brought to the department shortly before 10:00 p.m.

She informed officers that she was missing since September 17, 2020. After getting her information, officers contacted the Joplin Police Department and confirmed her identity.

Leora was reunited with her family on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

City of Oconomowoc Police started working with the Joplin Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation to further investigate.

On Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, they took a 19-year-old man from Oconomowoc into custody. He’s at the Waukesha County Jail.

According to police, the investigation showed that the male drove to Joplin, Missouri on or around Sept. 17 to pick up Leora Hardee. He then drove them back to Oconomowoc and she has been staying with him since that time.

Authorities are still investigating. Criminal charges could be filed soon. KOAM will have more this evening. Zach Dodge is reaching out to police and has spoken to the Rise Coalition about helping Hardee return to Joplin (Ways to Watch).

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City of Oconomowco Press Release