PITTSBURGH,None — Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle just spoke with authorities in Michigan who said they have looked into claims from a tipster there that Cherrie Mahan was alive, well and living in rural Michigan.
Mahan was last seen stepping off a school bus in Winfield Township in February 1985 when she was 8-years-old.
A spokesman for the sheriff's department in Michigan told Earle that the woman in questions is not Mahan.
The spokesman said his investigators interviewed the woman and saw a copy of her birth certificate. He said they also went to the local high school where she graduated from and saw pictures of her from as early as Kindergarten. At that time, investigators said she was a student in a school district in Michigan.
State police here in Pennsylvania had been investigating the claims after several people came forward and said they spotted a van similar to the one used in the Mahan abduction, and a girl matching Cherrie's description at a track meet in Michigan 26 years ago. One source said that the girl was now a woman living in northern Michigan.
Earle traveled to Michigan and interviewed the source of the information. Earle also tracked down the woman in question and she told him she was not Cherrie Mahan. Earle met with State police who said they would look in to the claims.
State Police contacted the Sheriff's department in Michigan to help them investigate. The Michigan Sheriff's department spent Wednesday morning tracking down the information and they just determined that the woman is not Mahan.
Pennsylvania state police issued a news release about the investigation.
"Through the cooperation and diligent investigative efforts by the Antrim County Sheriff's Office, utilizing interviews, photographs, records and the Michigan Department of Vital Statistics, the investigation lead provided to the Pennsylvania State Police regarding the possibility of Cherrie
Mahan residing in Michigan is no longer active," said Trooper Robert McGraw, the lead investigator in the case.
Although investigators said they wanted DNA from the woman, it's not clear if they ever got it. Apparently the information they received was enough to close the book on the case.
Previous Stories: June 14, 2011: Mom Reacts To New Tip In 26-Year-Old Case Of Missing Girl June 14, 2011: Target 11: Police Seek DNA In Cherrie Mahan Case June 13, 2011: New Trooper Assigned To 25-Year-Old Missing Girl Case February 22, 2010: 25 Years Later, Search Continues For Missing Girl