Reward increased to $20K for information on missing Georgia teen

The sheriff said it initially looked like a runaway case, but now that may not be the case.

Julia Mann left her Oconee County home two weeks ago and has not been seen since.

Now, her community is coming together to find the 17-year-old girl. Sheriff Scott Berry announced Wednesday a $10,000 reward for information leading to her safe return, with much of the cash raised by Oconee County citizens concerned for Mann's welfare. On Friday, that reward increased to $20,000.

"We are utilizing every available law enforcement resource," Berry said in a Facebook post. "The FBI has checked leads. The GBI is helping conduct interviews. The (Georgia State Patrol) has helped search, and agencies in other states have helped as well."

Julia Mann, 17, has been missing from Oconee County since Feb. 20. She is described as 5 feet, 3 inches tall and about 100 pounds. She has multiple piercings on her left ear.
Julia Mann, 17, has been missing from Oconee County since Feb. 20. She is described as 5 feet, 3 inches tall and about 100 pounds. She has multiple piercings on her left ear.

Much of the interest surrounding Mann’s case has been generated by the sheriff’s efforts on social media. Berry even addressed Mann directly in a video posted last week, imploring the teenager to call home.

“Reach out to someone you know and trust,” he said. “And if you don’t feel like there's anyone that meets that description, just call me. Let’s just talk about this, Julia, and let’s get you home. Let’s make sure you’re safe, and we'll take excellent care of you.”

Julia, Please call me. 706-769-5665

Posted by Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Every indication is Mann left her home alone and of her own accord the night of Feb. 20, according to authorities. She was last seen by her grandfather as he was getting ready for bed, Berry told Channel 2 Action News.

Deputies responding the next morning to the home in the Rowan Oak subdivision off Rocky Branch Drive found a muddy footprint near a back gate. Mann’s cellphone, computer and a few of her belongings were gone, Berry said.

In the weeks since, he said he would have expected to get an electronic hit on Mann’s activity. So far, investigators have found no trace of her.

Investigators have issued five search warrants and two subpoenas, Channel 2 reported. They have searched with cadaver dogs and by helicopter, and as of this week GBI agents are pitching in, too.

“It's like she walked out the back door, she walked out the back gate and an alien craft picked her up and took her to Mars,” Berry said in an interview with the news station.

Julia Mann disappeared from her home during the night of 2/20. She is 5'3" tall and weighs 100 pounds. All indications...

Posted by Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Her mother, Terrie Clark, told Channel 2 they are worried she trusted the wrong person and could be in danger. The family had just relocated to the area a few weeks before Mann went missing.

"I don't know how to live, not knowing if she's OK," Clark said. "I just have to get her home."

Mann is described as 5 feet, 3 inches tall and about 100 pounds. She has multiple piercings on her left ear.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 706-769-3945 or Investigator Golden Sanders at gsanders@oconeesheriff.org.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.