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Family of missing teen Holly Hicks make plea for her safe return

BELVIDERE - It's been three weeks since the disappearance of 17-year-old Holly Hicks. We spoke with her family, who is leaving no stone unturned in trying to find her.

Her mother, Amanda Matthes, offers an impassioned plea: "I love you and I want you to come home."

Nicole Dlugi, Amanda's cousin, said, "She wouldn't run away on her own. She lives in the country, so it's not like it's walking distance to the town. Somebody picked her up. Somebody picked her up at the end of her driveway."

Holly was last seen at her Belvidere home on the night of June 26th. Her family says this isn't the first time that someone has been behind one of her disappearances.

Her aunt, Sophia Dlugi, says issues Holly deals with makes her an easy target for the wrong people.

"The last time she was gone, she told me when she went that she really was kind of lured there, that there was a person outside, saying he would not leave her house unless she came out, that he wanted to take her on a journey," Sophia said.

"She's sweet," Nicole said. "She's a very sweet girl. She's trusting, and that might be her downfall."

Nicole has been proactive in the search for Holly. She created a Facebook page called Find Holly Hicks, which has already amassed more than 300 members. 

She also distributed flyers in West Rockford, hoping for any kind of lead.

"[I've been putting them up in] just random businesses, putting them on bus stops," she said. "I've stopped at the Rockford Police Department on the West side, there on State Street. Gave them a flyer to hand to their patrol officers."

Amanda added, "If you see her, please just come forward and let somebody know. She's very loved. She's got a lot of family that needs her."

The Boone County Sheriff's Office says Holly could be in Rockford or Chicago. Her family will be at the Rockford City Market this Friday to hand out more flyers.


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