Missing 11-year-old girl found dead

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The girl had gone missing on Friday night around 6 p.m.

A missing 11-year-old Alabama girl was found dead early Saturday, DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said.

Amberly Barnett was last seen on Friday around 6 p.m. in the Mt. Vernon community in northeast Alabama, and searchers found her body at about 6:30 a.m. the next day. The location wasn’t disclosed.

The sheriff did not release the cause of her death or any other information because of the ongoing investigation.

“I can tell you we are diligently, diligently pursuing different avenues, and Lord willing, we will have answers in the upcoming days,” Weldon, who declined to take questions from reporters, said at a brief press conference.

The search had begun “immediately” after the call came into the sheriff’s office at 7 p.m. Friday, and continued throughout the night, growing in manpower and spreading to nearby Cherokee County and into Georgia, the sheriff said at an earlier press conference.

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and DeKalb County investigators responded to the search, he said.

A Mt. Vernon resident told WAAY31 crime of this kind rarely, if ever, happens in the area, which is about 25 miles northeast of the city of Gadsden, Alabama.

“It was shocking. You don’t hear nothing about that around here,” Terry Clanton told WAAY31, describing Mt. Vernon as a close-knit community.

“I want to say directly from the heart, being in this career, in this job, the way we do it is 100% from the heart,” Sheriff Welden said. “And my heart is shattered this day, here in DeKalb County, Alabama.”

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