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Risco, MO

Still Searching for Missing Mother after Two Years

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Still Searching for Missing Mother after Two Years
By: CJ Cassidy

RISCO, Mo. - Gone but not forgotten.  You'd think a young mother disappearing without a trace would make national headlines.  Not in Teresa Butler's case though.

Her friends say Butler's poor, so that's probably why her disappearance didn't get any national attention.  But it wasn't for the lack of trying and they haven't given up yet.

Risco's store signs advertise more than the week's specials on meatloaf and pizza;  a poster off to the side also asks you not to forget Teresa Butler.

If that doesn't get your attention, maybe the dozens of yellow ribbons flying from posts will.

"It's like a family.  When one hurts we all hurt," Paula Pearson said.

She knows the Butler family's pain all too well.  Teresa disappeared from her home two years ago.

Her husband came home from working an overnight shift to find his two little boys home alone and no sign of their mother.

Pearson and her friends braved the biting cold Thursday as they made their way through town.

Their dedication's hardly surprising, considering their many efforts to get the case some national attention.

"We contacted FOX News, CNN, every show you could think of.  One time we thought Montel was coming, and then he got a bigger story.  Teresa don't have any money, she's from a poor area, but to us she's just as important," Pearson said.

New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens says the national media's lack of attention left him feeling frustrated. 

"I felt like the more exposure we got not just locally but nationally, the more enhanced our chances would be of finding out what happened to her," he said. 

Back in Risco, Pearson and her friends comfort each other with the knowledge they're doing everything they can to help put an end to the mystery surrounding Teresa Butler.

"Hopefully if someone was involved in it sees the yellow ribbons maybe they'll decide to come forward, and let the family know what happened to her," Pearson said.

Teresa's mother, Linda Buchanan, says she's very grateful to people around town and glad they haven't forgotten her daughter.

She certainly hasn't stopped hoping and praying herself.

There's still a $5000 reward offered for information that would help bring her back home.

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