The disappearance of college coed Ardena Carter has her family and her community worried. She's studying to be a teacher, works with children and is pregnant with one of her own. She's a graduate student at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. Dr. Jim Stephens, a professor there, says college students come and go, but when Carter missed just three days of class, he was more than alarmed.
"She didn't call and leave a voice message and she didn't email, we decided it was time to call parents," he said.
She's now been missing 13 days. The 24-year-old had become a fixture at the Agape Worship Center, where she hasn't been to teach Sunday school in two weeks.
"Dena attended everything," Pastor Anthony Chavers said. "She's one of those persons who, if the doors are open, she's going to be here."
Carter was last seen the evening of September 11 when she left her apartment just off campus to go to the university library. Friends say, since it was getting late and she's six months pregnant, they offered her a ride. But she said no thanks, she needed the exercise and took off on foot.
Her last doctor's visit was September 5, so she's now overdue for a checkup. Her landlord says she paid three months' rent the day she disappeared.
"We've put her on a national alert system that we use, the Georgia Crime Information System," said Det. Terry Briley of the Statesboro PD. "Any leads that come in, we follow every one of them."
Police say they have no indication of foul play, but every day Dena remains missing, the worry for her and her baby grows even stronger.
She's five-foot-ten, slender but visibly pregnant, 130 pounds. She always carried a green backpack. If you have any information, you're asked to call the Statesboro police at 764-9911 or 489-8217 or your local authorities.