The family of a 14-year-old girl who went missing in Tennessee says they are desperate to find her and believe she may be in the Lake County area, possibly in Lindenhurst.
Heaven L. Erwin, 14, of Walland, TN, reportedly ran away from her home on January 14, according to the Blount County, TN Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said Erwin had been communicating with Ryan Ziolko, 20, through a gaming chat server. Ziolko is from either Wisconsin or Illinois, police said.
Erwin is described as a female white, 5-foot-2, 115 pounds, with blonde straight shoulder-length hair and blue eyes.
Heaven Erwin’s mother, Jennifer Erwin, said in a Facebook post that her daughter had been talking to Ziolko on Discord and Steam for the past two years.
Jennifer said she located the address of Ziolko, which was in Lindenhurst, Illinois.
The Lindenhurst Police Department was contacted and officers went to his residence. Officers spoke to Ziolko, who said he had not talked to Heaven Erwin since Christmas.
“We got into her Steam account and found that they were talking up to the day she disappeared her brother also heard them talking on discord the night before,” Jennifer said in her post.
“My husband and I are physically sick with worry, it’s crazy and I would have never imagined the thoughts that can actually go through your head, it’s mental torture when your baby, your child…. our reason for being alive is missing and we have no clue if she’s safe or being harmed, is she cold or hungry or just having fun?” Jennifer said.
“Her Dad and I can’t help but to open her door and look in her room every time we walk past, hoping and praying that she came back only to see an empty room. Our hearts are shattered. We are a close family, Heavenly knows we love her, her brothers and sisters love her. She is a very important part of this family and without her here there’s a huge void,” she added.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Elizabeth Murphy at 865-273-5118 or the Blount County Communications Center at 865-983-3620.