Missing 12-year-old Gainesville girl: Search continues, $20K reward offered

The search continues for Maria Gomez-Perez in the Gainesville area. On Monday, Sheriff Couch posted a message to the community on Facebook. The Sheriff's Office is also planning to provide an update on the status of the search at 2 p.m. Tuesday. 


The Hall County Sheriff's Office sent out a new photo Thursday of missing 12-year-old Maria Gomez-Perez. They also produced a new flyer with the "correct" contact information. There are two phone numbers listed on the flyer – 770-503-3232 and 770-536-8812 – in addition to 911.

The Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook that it has a team of more than 2 dozen local, state and federal investigators "dedicated to the safe return" of Maria to her family. They also said that many people have taken an active role in the search for Maria and they thanked the community for their support. They are asking the public to share the flyer on their social media platform. 

On Friday, it was announced that a $20,000 reward is being offered for the safe return of 12-year-old Maria Gomez-Perez.

The reward is being provided by anonymous citizens, according to Hall County Sheriff's Office.

"We hope this reward money prompts someone who knows something about Maria’s  whereabouts to come forward," said Sheriff Gerald Couch. "Our investigators and  investigative partners are following every lead they get, but so far, none of those leads have  led us to Maria. The concerned citizens providing this reward want what we want – for  Maria to return home safe."


The Hall County Sheriff's Office has issued a statement regarding the search for 12-year-old Maria Gomez-Perez, who has been missing since last Wednesday.

PREVIOUS STORY: Urgent search for missing 12-year-old Maria Gomez-Perez in Gainesville

Gomez-Perez was last seen at her home on Westside Drive, off Pearl Nix Parkway in Gainesville, around 10 a.m. on May 29.

Since her disappearance, members of the community have conducted searches for the young girl, and several concerned individuals have reached out to FOX 5 Atlanta, asking for additional coverage of her disappearance.

Maria Gomez-Perez

Maria Gomez-Perez (Hall County Sheriff's Office)

FOX 5 reached out to the sheriff's office and received the following statement:

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the high level of community concern about the disappearance of 12-year-old Maria Gomez-Perez of Gainesville, and we want to emphasize to our citizens that we, too, are extremely concerned about Maria’s well-being.

While we cannot share every detail of our investigation in this case, we would like to address some concerns we have read on social media and received via email and phone calls.

In answer to a frequently asked question about the case, HCSO investigators did indeed reach out to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to request a Levi's Call, Georgia’s version of the Amber Alert. After a review of the facts of the case with GBI officials, the GBI determined that Maria’s case did not meet three out of five activation criteria:

  1. Law enforcement officials have a reasonable belief that an abduction has occurred.
  2. Law enforcement officials believe that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
  3. Enough descriptive information exists about the victim and the abductor for law enforcement to issue a Levi's Call

When Levi’s Call requests are denied, the GBI routinely offers and provides a Media Advisory. The GBI disseminated a Media Advisory on behalf of HCSO and Maria to metro and north Georgia broadcast partners over the weekend, with contact information for new information and tips.

To date, three tips have been received via 911 as a result of the advisory and HCSO's social media posts. Law enforcement, including HCSO and the Gainesville Police Department, immediately acted on each of them, with negative results in the effort to find Maria.

Many have made accusations that the Hall County Sheriff’s Office is doing minimal work in trying to find Maria. To the contrary, we have a team of investigators who have been and are continuing to diligently work this case. Our goal is to bring Maria home and ensure she is safe. We know the community wants that, too.

One way you can help is by using proper avenues to report tips. Social media is not the most reliable way to communicate with our investigators. Instead, anonymous tips may be called into 770-503-3232; these tips go directly to our Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Email tips may be sent to intelrequest@hallcounty.org.

You may certainly continue to use 911 or 770-536-8812.

Please continue to keep Maria in your prayers as we continue to investigate her whereabouts.

Maria is 5-feet-3 inches tall and weighs between 100 and 110 pounds. She has long, black hair and brown eyes. It is believed she was wearing a bright blue shirt when she disappeared.