Lacrisha Crawford calls her daughter’s phone every 30 minutes, she said Wednesday night. It’s not being clingy. It’s hoping that, wherever she is, 18-year-old Heavenly Sloan will respond after five days of silence.
The honor-roll student was on her way home from a family event in Michigan the last time they spoke, according to Crawford. That was Saturday.
“Sunday morning came and she wasn’t here,” Crawford said. “She didn’t report to work, so I reached out to (her) dad via text message and said, ‘Hey, she needs to call off work if she’s not going to go. It would be irresponsible of her not to.’”
Her father, Thomas Sloan, didn’t know where she was either. She hasn’t contacted either of her parents, posted on social media or used her credit card since Sunday.
WATCH: The family of Heavenly Sloan holds news conference in Detroit
It would be unusual behavior for her at any time, according to Thomas Sloan. It’s especially worrisome now, when she should be preparing for her freshman year as a nursing student at Bowling Green University.
“I was shocked because it’s not like Heavenly,” her father said. “She’s very responsible. She answers her phone. For this instance to happen, that’s just not like her.”
Because Heavenly is legally an adult, her parents can’t access her phone, and AT&T won’t ping it to determine its location until they get instructions from police. Ohio and Michigan police, in turn, consider her missing but not critically missing, a designation that implies danger, because of her age.
Crawford can’t stop her imagination from rolling, she said. She’s spent days searching alongside Sloan’s father and a group of friends, taking the highway partway from Ohio to Michigan and back. Between attempts to call her daughter’s phone, she scans the side of the road.
“(You look for) any sign of a relief, any sign of visible life,” she said. “You look for any clothes. You keep your phone on you. You can’t sleep. You can’t eat. You look for anything. You look for tall grass, skids in the road.”
Thomas Sloan said he’s doing his best to stay positive. If he could talk to his daughter, he said, he would make sure she knew how much he loves her.
“She’s everything to me,” he said. “She’s reserved, but she has a great sense of humor. Very intelligent. Very responsible. She’s just awesome. You look at a daughter and you couldn’t imagine anything different.”
Both parents’ best hope for now, they said, is that their search will end in embarrassment. Heavenly will come home, or someone who’s shared her picture online will find her safe. She’ll explain to them she was too red-faced to return amid a large-scale search effort.
Whatever happened in between then and now, “we don’t even have to talk about it,” Crawford said. “As long as I know she’s OK, we don’t have to talk about it.”
Crime Stoppers of Michigan Thursday announced it will reward up to $10,000 for any information that results in finding Sloan. Call 1-800-SPEAK-UP with any information. Tips can remain anonymous.