Madison Bell (18) left her home in Greenfield, Ohio on May 17 to go tanning in preparation for her baccalaureate service later in the day. She never arrived and has not been seen since.
Madison’s Social Media:
Madison’s mother, Melissa made a frantic post, looking for her daughter:
Police pinged Madison’s phone, in an attempt to find her location. This is when they found her car abandoned at a local church – the keys were in the vehicle.
Police are considering the car a crime scene, according to officials.
This map shows the location of the tanning salon vs. where her car was found abandoned.
The below map shows the route from Maddie’s home to the church/tanning salon.
There is also online talk that a strange vehicle was seen at the church earlier in the day:
It’s thought this may be the car in question:
It’s believed that footage from the tanning salon has been viewed:
As of 3am on May 18, Madison is still missing.
Updates as of May 18th:
Madison’s mother has spoken in more detail about finding the vehicle. This info is from WLWT.com:
“She just yelled, ‘Mom, I’m going tanning,'” said her mother, Melissa Bell. “She always comes right back. She’s not one to be a minute late without calling or texting or letting me know not to worry.”
Forty-five minutes later, Maddie hadn’t returned. Melissa Bell said she waited another 15 minutes and then started texting and calling her daughter. She didn’t respond.
Melissa Bell said she looked on the “Find My iPhone” app and Maddie’s phone was showing up near the tanning place.
Melissa Bell said Maddie’s boyfriend was at the house and the two then decided to look for her. They spotted her car at the Good Shepherd Church across from the market.
“It was the only car in the parking lot. We pull in. Windows are up,’ Melissa Bell said.
She said the car was unlocked and she opened the door.
“I notice her phone laying in the car. Her keys are in the ignition and money that she had in the pullout thing was still there,” Melissa Bell said. “She’s a typical teenager. She would never leave that phone.”
Melissa said Maddie never made it to the Country Corner Market.
“She didn’t sign in. The two mornings before that, she did, but that morning, video surveillance doesn’t show her car making it to the tanning area. She did not sign in,” Melissa Bell said.
Word of Maddie’s disappearance spread quickly through rural Highland County. Volunteers searched the area Sunday, and about 250 people searched again Monday.
“As her mom, there is something wrong. Someone has her. She’s not someone who has run away. This is not her behavior,” Melissa Bell said.
Melissa Bell said her daughter is very responsible. She’s the cheer captain at Greenfield’s McClain High school and was looking forward to the upcoming week.
“This was senior week. She would not have missed this for anything,” Melissa Bell said.
Melissa Bell said her daughter got accepted into Ohio University and has been in good spirits.
“She was happy. The night before we went fishing, her boyfriend, me, my mom,” Melissa Bell said. “Get her picture out there. Get her name out there. Know that she would never leave here intentionally,” Melissa Bell said.
Melissa Bell said her daughter may have been wearing a black North Face jacket and she may have had her driver’s license and a bank card on her. Melissa Bell said there has been no activity on the bank card or on Maddie’s Facebook page.
As at 4am on May 19, Madison is still missing.
Even though the white car with California license plates was said to have been cleared earlier, according to Fox19 as of May 19 at 6.40pm, the car was still being sought.
Maddie’s mother also told Fox19 more about the search:
“They brought in some dogs,” Melissa Bell, Maddie’s mother said. “We gave them some of the materials that she had that we found just to get a scent of her, just to see if that would help, if they could trace, find out anything that way, any direction.”
Are these the Star Wars pants she may have been wearing?
MAY 19 and 20 UPDATE:
Maddie’s boyfriend Cody Mann made a tearful public plea on May 19. He revealed to Fox19 that he has been living with the Bell family:
“’I’ll see you when you get back,’ is the last thing I got to say,” Cody recalled. “She’s the most loving girl I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean, I can’t even explain it… I just want her to come home,” he said.
More photos of Maddie have been made public:
Police also released photos of the actual car they are searching for in relation to Maddie’s disappearance:
There is also now a $15,000 reward for Maddie’s safe return:
Online posts from locals also suggest that police are looking into every option, examining CCTV:
Officials with the Highland County Sheriff’s Office announced that the FBI and BCI are now involved with Maddie’s disappearance.
Cody’s sister made a Facebook post, replying to people who have been doubting Cody’s innocence:
Maddie’s car has been taken by Law Enforcement for examination:
Madison’s mother also spoke again publicly today:
“At this point, don’t look like there was a struggle at the vehicle,” Sheriff Donnie Barrera said during an update to the media.
“We’re treating it in two ways. We’re treating it as the family likes. They think there’s possibly foul play and there’s also the fact some information we got [hinted] that … she took off.”
MAY 21 BREAKING NEWS
Police have released images of a man they would like to speak to in connection with Madison’s disappearance
As of May 22, Madison Bell has been found safe . Wow. What a ride!
Madison’s family made a public statement:
MAY 31 UPDATE
Madison made a new Facebook page under the name ‘Madison Noel Salmon’ (she has since taken it down) and made some social media posts.
You can see that the man in the Facetime screenshot is wearing the same shirt as he was in the CCTV footage.
On June 8, Madison spoke to whio.com. You can read the entire article here. Notable excerpts include:
“I haven’t talked to my mom,” Bell said. “I kind of am afraid if they come find me but they can’t do anything because I am 18 – so, it was my choice to leave.”
Bell said she left to start a new life and get away from her live-in boyfriend and family.
“I did not want that relationship at all, it was forced, and I remember telling my mom, ‘Hey when I am 18, I am not going to date him anymore.’”
Madison said in her Instagram Live video that she is now living with the man she met five year ago online. “I love Zack,” Bell said. “He is amazing. He is so sweet, I have never felt love like this before.”
You can see Zack’s Facebook here and his Instgram here. Online records indicate that Zack is 26. If this is true, and Madison met him 5 years ago, he was 21 and speaking to a 13 year old. Awkward (and illegal).
Some live videos of Madison and Zach were sent to us:
On June 18, we got word that Madison had travelled to Florida to see her family and that she was leaving Zach.
And lastly, Zack released his memoir online. Will this be the last we hear of these two brats? We hope so!
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15 thoughts on “The saga of missing teen Madison Bell”
The moms grasping at straws. 18 years old w/ no social media? Nah. Obvs she lied to her moms and went to meet up with this dude. No ones saying she was forced so Im assuming she hopped in the car of her own volition. She’s over 18 and adult, seems like shes out doing what “some” girls do.
Really? Why would she leave her phone and if you read this she does have a FB. Not every teen is on all social media sites.
Don’t say a word about my family. They are in pain and no one needs or wants your assumptions.
Agree with you–she willingly left with this guy. Obviously knows him..or so she thinks.
Continuing to lift Maddie and the rest of her loving family and friends in Prayer. We will continue to repost every update that we get. Please don’t let others make you feel as though this is your fault, because it’s not.
I can’t help wondering about the Corner Market and tanning appointments. She was scheduled to have one and disappears. Did someone plan this abduction knowing her scheduled appointments? Had they been stalking her? Would be doing a deep dive into anyone with access to that tanning schedule.
I have no idea what has happened to Maddie. I just know that my heart goes out to her family and friends and I will be lifting her and them up in my prayers. May God have mercy and reveal where Maddie is and protect her until she can be returned home. <
Corner market doesn’t take tanning appointments. It’s a walk in service and sometimes you have to wait. They have multiple tanning beds. You people have no freaking clue about this girl or her family or our town. Don’t assume you do!!!
Tell us more, what should we know?
I’m wondering if someone purposely rear ended her, they parked and got out of the car to look. They should check her car carefully for any signs of damage. That’s one way to get someone out of the car.
I read that her phone was found on the passenger seat of the car but according to her boyfriend he said it was in the cubby space beneath the radio.
It was the money that was in the cubby hole.
It was her money that was in the cubby hole.
What a selfish girl!