One year later, family, community waits for missing teen

Published: Oct. 11, 2019 at 7:20 PM PDT
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It's a tragic fact that children go missing every day somewhere in this country. When it happens in a small community, the impact is greater as it touches everyone.

For the past year even those passing through Bishop, California were reminded of the disappearance of Karlie Guse. Signs, posters and ribbons are everywhere.

At the high school the girl everyone describes as fun loving and outgoing is still an every day visible and emotional presence. At the beginning of every football game the announcer still reminds those present to keep her in their thoughts and prayers.

And--of course--there are no words adequate to describe the impact on those closest to her. Their pain was on full display at a press conference held Friday, October 11, 2019 near her home in Chalfant, a tiny community north of Bishop.

Speaking through sobs, her mother, Lindsay Fairley, pleaded for her safe return. "I love you sweet pea. Please come home. We love you Karlie."

The known facts about her disappearance haven't changed much in a year.

She apparently left her home in this rural neighborhood a dozen miles north of Bishop early in the morning after hanging out with friends apparently smoking marijuana.

Whatever happened to her that night, her step mother says it had a marked effect on her behavior, leaving her alternately fearful and animated.

The next morning, a pair of neighbors who saw her said she seemed disoriented and lightly dressed for the weather as she walked down to Highway 6. A passing driver saw her at the intersection.

And that's where Karlie Guse was last seen and where the mystery begins.

Did she turn north or south toward Bishop or was she picked up here? Was she abducted? One year later those are questions without answers. But hope remains. The search continues.

"Someone somewhere knows what happened to Karlie," says Mono County Sheriff Ingrid Braun. "If we could find that one person that can share that information and break this case for us. That's what we want."

Meanwhile, as her father Zac Guse said at the press conference, her family, friends, and a whole community waits.

"Please come home to where you are loved not only by me and your family and friends, but by an entire community that wants to see you come home safely."

Anyone with information is urged to call the Mono County Sheriff's Office at 760-932-7549.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019