GREENE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Greene County Sheriff’s Office continues its search for a missing teenager who is believed to be with a 20-year-old Hattiesburg man.
Veronica Platt, 16, and Tyler Wood, a former Forrest County Election Commissioner, were last seen on Dec. 26 at the home of Wood’s mother in Hattiesburg, according to the sheriff’s department.
Greene County Chief Deputy Brad Warrick said investigators are not sure if the two ran away together or if Veronica is being held against her will. Warrick said Veronica did not take her cellphone, clothes or leave a note.
Veronica met Wood online and the two started dating, Warrick said. Wood reportedly lied about his age to her parents and grandparents, telling them that he was 17. Warrick said the day before their disappearance, Veronica’s parents and grandparents began questioning Wood regarding his age, which irritated him.
Wood’s mother told investigators the couple stopped by her home the day after Christmas for 20 to 30 minutes. After the two left, Wood’s mother discovered that $2,500 was missing from the home, according to Warrick.
Greene County investigators said Wood changed his cellphone number prior to their disappearance, and the last location the phone was tracked to was the area of Interstate 10 on the Mississippi-Louisiana border on the morning of Dec. 27. The phone has since been turned off, but investigators believe the two may be in Louisiana.
Vernoica and Wood are believed to be travelling in a 1996 red/maroon Ford Mustang with a Petal Panthers tag in the back.
Investigators are following leads provided by the public, but no evidence has been produced from the leads. Warrick said Veronica does not have a history of trouble and was very close with her family.
The sheriff’s office has contacted the U.S. Marshals, the Fusion Center, Crime Stoppers and the Center for Search and Investigation to assist in the search.
Wood was elected the District 1 Forrest County Election Commissioner when he was 18 years old in November 2016. In September 2017, Wood resigned from the position, citing personal reasons.
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Veronica or Wood, you are asked to contact the Greene County Sheriff’s Office at 601-394-2341, MS Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898 or your local law enforcement agency.