ST. PETERS, MO (KTVI) - St. Peters police continue searching for Molly Linhardt, 16, who may be with a registered sex offender. Authorities consider Linhardt an 'endangered missing' juvenile. She was last seen Monday, January 14th.
According to police, Molly's parents dropped her off for work at Kentucky Fried Chicken on Jungerman Road around 4:00 p.m. Monday. They later found out she was not scheduled to work.
"They seem pretty frantic pretty upset. They really want to find her. She told her dad she had to work knowing she did not," said St. Peters Police Officer, Melissa Doss.
Authorities say Linhardt left the KFC in an unknown direction.
Molly is described as white female, 5'3", 110 lbs with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing her KFC uniform, black pants, black shirt and black shoes and black hat.
Authorities think Molly may be with Benjamin Kinkade, 27, a registered sex offender. Kinkade is from Wright City, Missouri. Kinkade is listed on the Missouri Sex Offender Registry. In 2002 he was charged with statutory rape of a 12-year-old girl in Troy, Missouri when he was seventeen.
Doss says Kinkade met Linhardt on the job. "They actually were co-workers. He no longer works at the KFC. She still does and that's how they met. She spent the day with him. She did not go to school like she was supposed to. Her dad caught her spending the day with him, took her home took away her cell phone then she said she had to go to work," Doss said.
Investigators say it's possible Linhardt and Kinkade may have left the area, but have no idea where they are or where they're headed. Kinkade was last seen driving a silver 2006 Chevy Colorado with a Missouri Lincense Plate. The number is 7PT914. On Wednesday, police released a surveillance photo of Kinkade's vehicle from last week.
Doss says there isn't an amber alert in the case as it appears the teen went with Kinkade willingly. "I don't think she was taken against her will. I don't think any of us believe that at this point. She's not old enough to consent to a relationship like this. A 27-year-old man should not be with a 16-year-old girl. So yes. We consider her in danger in that sense."
Authorities say Molly does not have her cell phone and attempts to locate her or Kinkade have not been successful.
Anyone with information is asked to call the St. Peters Police Department at 636-278-2222.