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A billboard is up and the family of missing hiker Cassie Sheetz is still looking for answers

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT
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PENDLETON COUNTY, W.Va. (WHSV) - The search continues for a missing hiker who was last seen more than four and a half months ago near Spruce Knob in Pendleton County.

The search efforts have expanded after a billboard was put up by Lamar Advertising in Elkins near 536 Randolph Avenue asking the public for leads on the disappearance of 24-year-old Cassie Sheetz.

“Right now we’re at a standstill so we’d figure we’d put the billboard up, keep sharing on Facebook that somebody, we know somebody knows something,” Arlene Shelton, Cassie’s mother said.

West Virginia State Police told WHSV on Friday they were still investigating Sheetz’s disappearance and that fewer leads have been reported.

Police say unfortunately some of those leads have been attempts to extort the family for information.

“I got a text message early in the morning saying mommy I need your help I’m in California,” Shelton said. “Then all of a sudden it went from that to look we kidnapped your daughter, we have her and we need $10,000 or I’m going to take a single bullet and put it between her eyes.”

Shelton says the message was sent through the TextNow App and it appears that Sheetz’s account and number associated with the account were hacked.

State police say those leads have been debunked, but they are still working on where Sheetz’s account was hacked from.

This weekend will be Sheetz’s 25th birthday, and her family says all they want is information on where she’s at so she can come home.

“She used to joke with me about how she was my birthday present because my birthday is the day after hers so this weekend is really hard. nothing feels the same everyone’s just numb right now because we just don’t know,” Shelton said.

Lamar Advertising has the billboard scheduled to be up for the next two weeks, but that could be extended depending on if Sheetz is found.

“Lamar has a long history of public service, with a goal to leave every place that we’re privileged to operate in better than we found it,” a spokesperson with Lamar Advertising said. “We hope that the donated billboard space in Elkins, W.V. helps the family of Cassie Sheetz find the answers that they deserve.”

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