A 16-year-old pageant queen has been missing since Sunday, when she left her family's home to throw away trash and reportedly never returned.

Michaela Wells, who is USA National Miss Nebraska Teen, was last seen by her parents at 8:30 p.m. After spending the day shopping with her mother for a gown for the USA National Pageant, the teen returned home and seemed quite happy, according to her parents. She told her grandmother she was going to throw out the garbage, which usually takes her 10 minutes. But that was the last time Michaela's family saw her.

Michaela was wearing jeans, a hoodie, and black pumps when she went outside, leaving her coat and phone in the house, according to reports. It certainly doesn't sound like she was prepared to go out for an extended period of time. After 20 minutes, her father drove around the neighborhood to search for his daughter.

Her parents say they thought maybe she had taken off with a friend to IHOP, but that it wasn't like her to leave without warning. They also discovered that Michaela hadn't been in touch with her friends since earlier that day. They filed a missing person's report with the police a few hours later.

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As of now, police say they have no reason to suspect the teen was taken against her will or that foul play was involved. Which is wonderful because no news is good news.

At the same time, I feel terrible for Michaela's parents. It must be incredibly frustrating to know your child so well that you would swear on your life she'd never vanish willingly without warning, yet be told there's no reason to worry -- yet. I'd want everyone who has any power to help find my child out there worrying right along with me. I know the police are doing their jobs and working off of the limited evidence they have right now, but I can't imagine being in this teen's parents' shoes.

Our thoughts are with Michaela and her family and we hope the teen returns home quickly and safely.

If you were this teen's parents, would the cops' reaction infuriate or comfort you?

 

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