ST. PETERS, Mo. (KMOV ) – The family of a 16-year-old St. Charles girl who was reported missing and is with a registered sex offender continues to plead for her safe return.
Police said Molly Linhardt was reported missing by her parents Monday after they dropped her off at work. Linhardt’s parents later found out she was not scheduled to work Monday.
Police said surveillance video showed Linhardt left the Kentucky Fried Chicken located at 1699 Jungermann Road on foot and headed in an unknown direction with Benjamin Kinkade, 27, who’s a registered sex offender.
Kinkade pleaded guilty in 2002 for having sex with a 12-year-old girl. Officials said Kinkade may be driving a 2006 silver Chevy Colorado with Missouri state license plate 7PT914.
According to Linhardt’s family, she and Kinkae met at the KFC, where he worked as a manager. The family said he was fired in December when police caught him and Linhardt together and police learned of his criminal history.
The family said Linhardt skipped school Monday to hang out with him..
Police said Linhardt is a white female and about 5-foot 3. She has blonde hair, blue eyes and is weighs 110 pounds. She was last seen wearing a KFC uniform, which includes black pants, black shirt, black shoes and a hat.
After making several attempts to reach Linhardt, officers believe she does not have her cell phone.
Police said they have not yet issued an Amber Alert because they do not believe she is in imminent danger.
“We understand that there’s a danger but it doesn’t meet the criteria and in order to do one of those alerts it has to meet the criteria,” said St. Peters Police Officer Melissa Doss..
Police said Kinkade turned his phone off Monday and is behaving like someone trying who doesn’t want to be found. Police describe Linhardt’s family as “frantic.”
Anyone with information about either Linhardt or Kinkade’s whereabouts is asked to call the St. Peters Police Department at 636-278-2222.