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Palm Beach County student disappears during JROTC field trip in Georgia

Mia Brailford, 16, last seen Saturday night in tent
Mia Brailford, 16.jpg
Posted at 6:22 AM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 17:09:31-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A 16-year-old Palm Beach County student is missing after disappearing over the weekend during a JROTC field trip to the Gerald Lawhorn Scouting Base in Molena, Georgia, authorities said.

Mia Brailford was last seen by her roommate about 11:30 p.m. Saturday in a tent they were sharing, but she wasn't present at morning check-in at 6 a.m. Sunday.

The Upson County Sheriff's Office in Georgia has launched an ongoing search for Brailford, who's an 11th-grade student at Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach. The Palm Beach County Schools Police Department is in contact with investigators in Georgia.

Upson County, Georgia, Sheriff Dan Kilgore said authorities have been searching a wooded area for Brailford.

"That particular property is about 2,200 acres," Kilgore said, adding that the area has twice been searched by helicopter using infrared technology.

Kilgore said the teenager was wearing shorts, a hooded sweatshirt and a blanket. He also said she may have her cellphone.

"There doesn't appear to be any immediate activity on the cellphone," he said.

Authorities are urging anyone who has heard from Brailford or has information about her whereabouts to call 706-647-7411.

In a message to students, parents and teachers, Principal Sandra Edwards said additional counselors have been brought to Atlantic Community High School's campus on Monday to help anyone who is struggling with the news of Brailford's disappearance.

"We are a family, we are all in this together, and we will all keep Mia and her family in our thoughts until she is back home," Edwards said.