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Family warns Iowa girl missing in national park is in ‘imminent danger’

A 13-year-old Iowa girl sent an “SOS” text before disappearing in a national park with an older teenage boy — and is believed to be in “imminent danger,” her family said in a new report.

Erica Gamerdinger, of Edgewood, was on vacation with her parents at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park on Monday when she sent the startling cry for help with a map of her location — then disappeared with 15-year-old Keith Griffith of Speedwell, Tennessee, her mom, Jen Gamerdinger, told WYMT

She was last seen by a ranger in a campground at the park — a vast Appalachian forest with 84 miles of hiking trails along the borders of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia — and may now be headed to Colorado or Alaska, according to the local station.

“We believe there is IMMINENT DANGER to their lives,” Erica’s aunt, Christina Marie Johari, wrote on Facebook Wednesday evening. “Heart-broken FAMILY members are searching the area and every lead that becomes available.”

Erica Gamerdinger, 13, and Keith Griffith, 15, are missing in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Tennessee.
Erica Gamerdinger was on vacation with her parents at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
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Another one of the girl’s aunts, Julie Gamerdinger-Rottinghaus, said on Facebook that law enforcement has been “searching from sun-up till after dark” for the teens, whose relationship had not been disclosed Friday.

Griffith has a medical condition and is believed to be without his medication, according to officials, who are seeking help finding the pair.

He is 5 feet 11 inches tall and 160 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes and was last seen riding a blue and white Yamaha dirt bike, according to the Charlotte Observer.  

Erica is 5 feet 5 inches tall, 100 pounds with blond hair and was last seen wearing a dark blue floral tank top.

Anyone with information about the teens should contact the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office at 423-626-1911 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND, officials said.

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