GRIFFIN, Ga. - There is a new push in the search for a missing teen in Spalding County. Aubrey Carroll, 16, has been missing for a year, but the sheriff's office said investigators believe he is still alive. Officials are now offering a big reward for any information.
Spalding County Sheriff's Office is offering $5,000 for anyone who puts them in touch with Aubrey, not just for his safe return. The sheriff told FOX 5 Thursday, he believes Aubrey is alive and needs to know how much he is missed at home.
Aubrey was last seen a year ago this week when he left Spalding County High School. He was heading to stay with friends, but has not been seen since. Sheriff Darrell Dix, who has been in office since January, ordered a renewed investigation in the teen's disappearance.
"We felt like we just needed to start from square one, re-interviewing people, talking to witnesses, looking at pictures, looking at video, everything all over again,” said Sheriff Dix.
It is believed that Aubrey Carroll stayed with friends for several days in Spalding County. If there was friction at home, the message to Aubrey now is that it is all right now.
“No matter what happened here, no matter what he perceived as being bad here that happened to him, there is nothing that can't be forgiven or forgotten or worked out or worked through,” said Sheriff Dix.
A motorist reported to investigators that he picked up Aubrey hitchhiking on County Line Road several days after he had been seen at the high school. County Line Road is south of Griffin and near where investigators believe Aubrey had been staying with friends.
The motorist said he dropped Aubrey off at the Flying J Truck Travel Plaza at Exit 201 on Interstate 75. From there, the trail disappeared and has since grown cold. The sheriff is hoping the $5,000 reward offered to the person who helps them contact Aubrey will end the nightmare for the teen's family.
“Whether it's via social media, talking to him on the phone, we want to hear his voice,” the sheriff said.
Friends and family of Aubrey Carroll are holding a candlelight vigil to mark the one-year anniversary of his disappearance in Gray, Georgia, at 8 p.m. Friday night. They also have set up a Facebook page: Bring Aubrey Home.