Missing in America

Parents Believe Missing Vermont Teen Autumn Sanville May Now be in Danger

Autumn Sanville Help Find Autumn Sanville Facebook Page

Monday marks day 12 since Autumn Sanville’s parents last saw their daughter.

And as each day passes, their hearts break a little more.

“Where do you turn? What do you do? It’s unimaginable,” Karlene Rogstad, Autumn’s mother, told Dateline. “I still feel like we’re on day one, and it is day 12.”

It was early on that Tuesday morning, October 6, when Autumn, 17, left her family’s home in Weathersfield, Vermont, to head to another day of junior year at Springfield High School. She complained that she didn’t have something to wear now that colder weather was setting in. Her mother suggested a fleece shirt. They searched for a pair of long socks to pair with it. They chatted about a class ring for Autumn, picking out the look and the stones for it.

It was a typical morning, her mother says.

That afternoon, though, Autumn didn’t make her routine stop home after school, before heading to her job at a local pizzeria. It was one of three jobs the busy, outgoing teen held.

Concerned, her mother Karlene called the restaurant to check in. They informed her the scheduled had been adjusted, and so Autumn had that evening off. Calls and texts to Autumn went unanswered. Her phone had either been turned off or died.

“I drove around to her friends, but no one had seen her,” Karlene told Dateline. “Call it mother’s intuition, but I just knew something wasn’t right. Something had to be very wrong.”

Autumn was reported missing that same night.

Police pinged the teen’s phone to a boat launch in nearby Springfield, where they discovered Autumn’s 1991 Saab unlocked and abandoned. Her books were strewn across the back seat. Someone later told police they believed they saw her earlier that morning getting into a late ‘90s-model maroon car with several other people.

The Vermont State Police are leading the investigation into the case, but officials have said they believe Autumn left of her own accord. A news release from last week states that prior to her disappearance, the teen made several comments to friends that she was planning on running away.

“Although Sanville’s statements to friends may suggest she is purposely avoiding contact, this investigation will remain open,” Detective Sergeant Richard Holden, of the Vermont State Police, wrote in the release.

Autumn (right) taking a Snapchat photo of her and her mother, Karlene Rogstad (left). Help Find Autumn Sanville Facebook Page

The idea that their daughter took off doesn’t sit well with her parents.

Autumn didn’t take her makeup or any cherished belongings, according to family members. Nearly $200 was left in her room. The worry is that, even if she intentionally skipped school that day, Autumn may have found herself in a situation that she now can’t escape.

“In my heart, I know she didn’t leave with the intention of not coming home,” Karlene said. “She’s a teen. Most teens sometimes skip a day of school. I don’t believe she thought it was going to be longer than that. What if she’s in a really dangerous situation, and people aren’t looking at it that way?”

Support has flooded in for the family, with thousands of people sharing Autumn’s photo in the nearly two weeks since she disappeared. Hundreds of posters have been printed and posted. A social media campaign remains strong, with family members posting daily updates on the "Help Find Autumn Sanville" Facebook page.

They are doing everything they can to reach Autumn.

“We want her to know she is loved. We’re not upset or mad at her. We’ll work this out,” Karlene told Dateline. “We just want to know she’s safe, and for her to come home.”

Autumn Sanville is described as 5’5” tall, weighing 120 lbs. with brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is urged to call the Vermont State Police at (802) 722-4600.