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[Newsmaker] Search continues for missing teenage girl in Cheongju

Hundreds of personnel continued the search Wednesday for a teenage girl who went missing eight days ago while hiking with her family in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.

Cho Eunnuri, 14, was last seen near the upper part of a stream in Naeam-ri, Gadeok-myeon in Cheongju at around 10:40 a.m. on July 23. She has intellectual disabilities.

Cho Eunnuri (Yonhap)
Cho Eunnuri (Yonhap)

About 151 centimeters tall, Cho was wearing a gray, short-sleeved T-shirt, black skirted leggings, gray-colored aqua shoes and blue horn-rimmed glasses at the time of her disappearance.

Some 400 troops, 70 police, 25 firefighters and 25 officials of the North Chungcheong Province and Cheongju city searched the area with 14 search dogs on Wednesday, according to Cheongju Sangdang Police Station.

Drones were used in the search as well.

On the morning of July 23, Cho’s family went for a picnic with two other families, Cho’s mother told Yonhap News.

While walking around the head of the Musim Stream, Cho told her mother that she would go down to where they had laid a mat, about 500 meters away, as there were too many insects and she was tired.

Soon after Cho left, the group sent down two elementary school children.

The two children said they never saw Cho on their way to the mat.

Cho has a relatively good sense of direction, and would always return to where she started her walk, according to her mother.

Cho’s father said in an interview with KBS that she may not reply immediately when asked if she was Cho Eunnuri.

“Please wait for a while or ask her if she would like to call her mother. Then she will write down her mother’s phone number,” he said.

Police are looking into security camera footage in the area and tracking down some 50 vehicles that passed by a bottled water plant at the head of the Musim Stream in the three hours after Cho went missing.

“We have not yet found any belongings or other traces of her, or indications that she left the area,” a police official said.

“We plan to cut back the thickets and focus our search around the trail.”

By Kim So-hyun (