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NEW CASTLE Group faxes fliers of girl to Texas



Published: Sat, May 5, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The girl's picture will also be placed on bulletin boards in Wal-Mart stores in Texas.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- It shouldn't be hard to recognize Amanda Sluder's face in San Antonio, Texas.

The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children sent out facsimile copies of her picture and description to more than 2,000 restaurants and retail stores in the last few days, said Pete Graham, an assistant case manager for the center.

Authorities believe the 13-year-old New Castle girl may be in Texas after they arrested her mother, Stephanie Atchley, and found her 10-month-old brother, Brandon, there last week.

Brandon has been returned to his father, Don Sluder of New Castle, who has primary custody of both children.

Disappeared from area: Brandon and Atchley, 27, disappeared in March from the Super 8 Motel in Shenango Township.

Amanda turned up missing from her Neal Street home April 20, leaving a note saying she ran off with some friends.

Her father believes she went to Texas to be with her mother and brother.

Atchley faces criminal counts in the disappearance of both children. She is charged with two counts each of interference with the custody of children and concealment of the whereabouts of a child.

Graham said his organization faxes out mass fliers only when they have a possible sighting of a missing child.

Recognized photo: Sluder said people living in the apartment complex where Atchley was arrested recognized Amanda's photograph and said Amanda was there the day before her mother was arrested.

After learning that information, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children decided to fax Amanda's likeness to about 2,200 restaurants and retail stores within a 25-mile radius of the city.

Amanda's picture will also be put on bulletin boards in Wal-Mart stores in that region, Graham said.

"We are hoping if we can put some pressure on whoever has her, they might turn her in," Graham said.

Authorities believe Atchley placed Amanda with someone in Texas who is hiding her, he said.




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