Friday, Nov. 5, 1999 | 10:43 a.m.
With 7-year-old Karla Rodriguez now missing for more than two weeks, Metro Police are expanding the investigation into California and Mexico.
"The ground search portion of the investigation is pretty much completed," said Sgt. Al Salinas of Metro's Missing Persons Detail. "The investigation is continuing with her extended family members in California and Mexico."
Salinas said detectives are trying to make contact with all of Rodriguez's family members in an effort to find new leads.
Rodriguez was last seen playing with friends about 7 p.m. on Oct. 20 in the 700 block of Bonita Avenue, northeast of the intersection of Sixth Street and St. Louis Avenue.
Police know that Rodriguez's mother walked her daughter about halfway to John S. Park Elementary School, 931 Franklin Ave., around 7 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 20 from their home in the 700 block of St. Louis.
The missing girl has many relatives in Mexico and it is a long process trying to locate them all, Salinas said.
"Some of her relatives are deep into Mexico, and although we've had no problems with Mexican authorities things move a little slower down there," Salinas said. "The FBI is also helping us in our search and efforts to contact her family."
Investigators are not giving up hope and are still confident Rodriguez can be found, Salinas said.
"Of course, if she continues to go unfound and we exhaust all leads, the investigation will slow down, but I don't see that happening in the near future," Salinas said.