Mendez, 16, has been missing since Sept. 30 at about 4:20 a.m. She was last seen at her Hollis Crossroads home on U.S. 431.
Investigator Josh Barnett said the police have put fliers in all the convenience and grocery stores in Heflin as well as at Heflin City Hall. They planned to post more in Hollis, where the girl was living, on Friday, he added.
The fliers also are being distributed in Georgia, Maryland and Ohio, Barnett said. So far, investigators have no leads, Barnett said.
The fliers were provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which offered to help with the case after staff saw Mendez’s story online. The center was established in 1984 with a mission to aid law enforcement in finding missing children.
Mendez’s brother-in-law, Hector Chun, said the family heard a car outside about the time the girl was last seen, and believe she may have been picked up by someone. They thought she was going to school, but when she didn’t come home, they knew something was wrong, he said.
The family found a note saying she was going back to Guatemala, but Chun said he didn’t think she could get there. She didn’t have any money, Chun said.
Mendez was living with Chun and her sister, Alicia Mendez. Two days after the teen disappeared, they went for help to Cleburne County High School, where she was attending classes. School administrators notified the police and provided a translator for the interview.
Days after she disappeared, the family started receiving phone calls from a man who declined to identify himself saying Mendez was in Alabama, Atlanta and Maryland traveling with another man. The phone number he was calling from has since been disconnected.
A photo of Mendez is now posted on the website www.missingkids.com, managed by the center. Paola Salvatierra, an assistant case manager with the center declined to comment on the investigation today.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.