November 9, 1998

From the
Channel 4 newsroom,
here's the transcript
of today's top story...

Today's top news picture.

Have you seen Maddie?

Search for missing 8-year-old girl intensifies; FBI to get involved

Click here for more photos and information about Madlyn Clifton.
The search for an 8-year-old girl missing five days moved to Sunday's Jacksonville-Cincinnati NFL game, where dozens of people passed out fliers hoping a fan might have seen Maddie Clifton.

Family members and volunteers fanned out in the Alltel Stadium parking lots, handing out fliers and yellow ribbons in hopes of getting them into the hands of 70,000 ticketholders.

"One out of seven kids featured in a photograph flier is recovered," said Nancy McBride, state executive director of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "You can never have enough fliers."

U.S. Navy pilots also drew attention to Maddie's disappearance, flying a "missing man" formation during pregame ceremonies. The formation's precision is broken by the absence of one plane.

If you've seen Maddie Clifton or have any information about her disappearance, call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 630-0500.
Maddie last was seen by family members Tuesday afternoon as she dashed out the front door of her home to play with friends. She disappeared sometime within the next 30 minutes, leaving police with few leads.

By Friday, fliers about Maddie already had circulated across Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas, Mississippi and Texas, McBride said. The search reached the national spotlight Saturday when Maddie's disappearance was featured on "America's Most Wanted."

On Monday, agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI were being called in to help Jacksonville detectives track down leads and carry out interviews.

"We are going to keep going until we can finalize this," said Steve Clifton, the girl's father. "God is in control of this, and we are going through the motions because He knows where she is and we are going to find her. ... That's our hope, and that's what keeps us going."

Fliers with the girl's picture are on display at businesses throughout Northeast Florida. The family has also posted an online version of the flyer on the Web.

Thanks to the World Wide Web, eyes on the lookout for Maddie Clifton are now scattered across the state and the nation. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posted Maddie's picture on their website Thursday evening... and the Missing Children's Help Center in Florida also has the picture displayed.

A national television audience will also see Maddie's image, as America's Most Wanted has said they will publicize the case in their program.

Stay tuned to NewsChannel 4 for updates on the search for Maddie.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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