Information leads search for missing Stone County woman in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — “We want Haven to know she’s not in trouble. She’s not in trouble with the police. We don’t hold it against her,” Jennifer Shelton said. “We just want her to understand she’s not in trouble.”

A month after the last contact with 19-year-old Haven Shelton, the search continues.

“I’m in Springfield today talking to community members and handing out flyers. We’ve been going door to door and visiting community members just to see if they’ve seen my daughter Haven around,” Jennifer said.

Haven was last seen in Stone County, about an hour from Springfield, but Jennifer says the reason they're searching the Queen City is based on some tips they've received.

“We had information that she may have hitchhiked to Springfield, and we think she may be homeless, so we're just trying to find out if anyone has seen her,” Shelton said.

Jennifer Shelton says medical impact is also an important factor in the research.

“Haven has a long history of mental health issues to the point where she is not able to make safe decisions for herself. She has never been in a situation where she was truly able to be independent,” Jennifer said. “She also has a seizure disorder. When she left home, she did not take any of her medications with her. We anticipate at this point that she is very confused and at risk of having seizures at any time. So we are very concerned.”

Jennifer says Haven didn't take her cell phone with her and she was able to get information through previous Google searches, but she believes that wasn't a reason Haven went missing.

Jennifer is not alone in her search.

OzarksFirst was able to confirm with the Greene County Sheriff's Office that a detective has been assigned to the case and deputies are actively investigating.

On July 10, other Freeway Ministries volunteers spoke to OzarksFirst about why they are helping to find Haven.

“We love Jesus and we are called to love one another,” Stephanie Smith said. “This woman is in distress and is looking for her child, and we would like someone to do that for us. So we support each other.”

Another volunteer, Michelle Houston, says her previous experience working with the homeless community is an asset in the research.

“I've been homeless. I know a lot of homeless people and they trust us to give us information if they've seen her,” Houston said.

“I think it's important to get the word out. There's a lot of people who don't even know she's missing,” Dawn Braham said. “We just want to raise awareness to get her picture out there and get people talking about it.”

Jennifer says the last 30 days have been stressful for the Shelton family.

“It’s hard for us to sleep more than two hours at a time, but we’re holding up,” Jennifer said. “We’re just tired.”

She adds that the support from friends, authorities and even strangers has been tremendous.

“The community support from the beginning has been incredible. It’s hard to describe. People have been looking for Haven. People have been making phone calls, people from other states. People have been calling to donate to help with the cost of photocopies, gas, money, signage,” Jennifer said. “It’s really hard for me to comprehend at this point. It’s really heartwarming.”

The search will continue in Springfield throughout this week.

If you would like to participate in the search, you can visit the Facebook page “Bring Haven Home”.

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