Search continues for missing Woodland Park teen

September 9, 2013 Updated: September 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm
photo - Alexandra "Ali" Ponte has been missing since Wednesday.
Alexandra "Ali" Ponte has been missing since Wednesday. 

The last time her mother saw her, Alexandra "Ali" Ponte was in her Woodland Park home around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

They had argued over a Facebook post and Ali had gone to her room to cool off, but Chrissy Duis, her mother, did not realize she was gone until nearly two hours later.

Woodland Park police and the FBI have been searching for the teen, who was listed as a missing person. So far, no foulplay has been suspected, but that doesn't make her mother feel any better.

"Nobody has heard anything in six days, we just want to know that she's ok, alive, anything," Duis said Monday.

The latest development in Ali's disappearance surfaced over the weekend, when the owner of Serrano's Mexican Bar and Grill, on east U.S. 24, confirmed to detectives that he and an employee spotted a girl matching Ali's description at 9:10 p.m. Wednesday.

"They saw her walking on Baldwin Street, heading southwest toward U.S. 24," Duis said. "They didn't realize she was missing until they saw a flier and she had stuck in their mind because they thought it was uncommon to see a girl walking out that late."

The circumstances leading up to Ali's disappearance point to her running away from home, which her mother said the teen did once before, last Sept. That time, police found her within the hour and took her home. This time around, as days have passed, Duis said she can't find any peace.

Duis told The Gazette that after their argument, she told Ali to go to her bedroom and think things through. Around 9 p.m., she got a call from a friend's mother letting her know she had dropped Ali off at nearby Memorial Park, to meet up with a friend for a "sleepover."

"I called and checked on the sleepover and the girl's father didn't know anything about it," Duis said. "If Ali was meeting someone to pick her up, it wasn't at the park because police went back to look for her and they couldn't find her."

Police and FBI investigators have tried pinging Ali's phone but her mother said it has been off since Thursday.

"There was definitely one person with whom she communicated repeatedly when she went missing, and that person has been questioned, but nothing has come of it," Duis said.

So far the Woodland Park Police Department has received lots of calls and tips regarding Ali and they have pursued all of them, Duis said. She has passed out fliers, along with family and friends, to the public and businesses in Woodland Park hoping someone will spot the teenager and lead to her recovery.

"I really want to keep her fresh in everyone's minds," Duis said. "If anyone sees her, please call her name, get her attention, keep in mind she could be wearing a hat or may try to conceal herself if she is hiding."

In an interview with The Gazette Monday, Duis' voice broke from grief over her missing daughter.

"I just want her to know that she's loved beyond measure. I'm afraid she'll stay away because she thinks she's going to be in trouble, but I just want her to come home, to know that she's safe. At least call, or text, let us know she's alive."

Ali was last seen wearing a bright blue hoodie and skinny jeans, police said. She was also wearing a grey and black "Nike" backpack.

Ali had her hair pulled back in a pony tail and she no longer wears braces, her mother said.

Ali is 5-foot-5 and 115 pounds. She has a fair complexion, brown hair and green eyes.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call Detective Sean Goings at the Woodland Park Police Department at (719) 687-9262.

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