RICHMOND — Taylor Behl’s friends are turning to the Internet to seek solace as police search for the 17-year-old freshman who has been missing from Virginia Commonwealth University since Labor Day.
“Come home hun. Vienna is waiting for you,” writes Hanna Revolution, posting a message on Taylor’s MySpace Web site. “We’re praying for you.”
Another friend, listed as “Captn Jak SparOw,” asks Taylor to come home safe. “Hey babe, if you don’t come back, look at all these people who are going to miss you,” he writes.
Another note is signed simply with a sad-face emoticon — :(
Online friend sites such as MySpace have allowed young people to communicate, but they also could help city police investigating Taylor’s disappearance, which has received national attention in recent days.
Kirsten Nelson, a Richmond police public information officer, said one detective is using these and other Web sites in the investigation, which has yet to yield a suspect.
“As much as she possibly can, she is trying to read all the blogs involved and looking at Internet to see if there is anything there,” Miss Nelson said. “That is one avenue of trying to get some information.”
Police think Taylor was abducted some time after she was last seen on the night of Sept. 5. Her white 1997 Ford Escort was found Saturday in Richmond’s Fan District near the campus, bearing stolen Ohio license plates.
Several Web logs have speculated on Taylor’s last known whereabouts and whom she might have been with.
A business major, Taylor last logged on to her MySpace account on Sept. 4, the day before she disappeared.
Yesterday, her family retrieved her belongings — including a brown teddy bear — from her dorm room.
Family attorney George Peterson said Taylor’s mother has been in touch with police, but he would not reveal details of the conversations.
“When Taylor comes home, she is not going back to VCU,” he said yesterday.
Mr. Peterson said the family is disappointed with the university’s response to her disappearance and will seek a refund of her tuition.
Asked whether he thought Taylor would return home, Mr. Peterson replied, “All you can ever do is hope.”