Missing Florida Teens Spotted

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Seventeen-year-old Lauren Romano and 16-year-old Juliann Coder, both from Tampa, Fla., were last seen Thursday, July 14. Investigators say the two were believed to be traveling alone in Romano's father's truck when they were spotted headed west on the interstate in Boligee, Ala.

It was around 6:00 a.m. that day that the two were spotted near the vehicle, which appeared to be broken down on the side of the road.

"Earlier that morning," says Det. Burta Fitch with the Meridian Police Department, "a wrecker driver said he saw the girls and he thought he saw a man pulling one of them back. So later on, when he came back, the truck was still there but the girls were not."

Since that time, both are said to have been spotted in the Meridian area. Around noon on Monday, investigators said the two were reportedly seen at the Queen City Truck Stop, headed west along Interstate 20.

At the time, a patron of the store says he saw the two girls with back packs and signs reading "New Orleans."

Other reports also indicated the same.

"I received another call saying that they had seen them in Newton, Miss., Tuesday morning at about 4:00, so they may not be in our immediate area, but they are within our vicinity," said Fitch.

With the two teens still believed to be heading west, travelers are asked to be on the lookout for them.

Lauren is a white female, 17, 5'2", 116 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Juliann is 16, 5'5", 125 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call Florida authorities at (813) 247-8000.

"We're asking anybody with any information, regardless of how minor it seems to call authorities and let them know," Fitch said.


Juliann Coder


Lauren Romano


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