On the sixth day since Peconic teen Ashley Murray went missing, the 16-year-old was still missing without a trace on Saturday.
Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley said on Saturday that there had been no news, although the police are engaged in an "extensive" search for the teen, who disappeared Monday after leaving a suicide note.
Ashley's family issued a statement Saturday: "We would like to sincerely thank the community and everyone involved in the efforts to find Ashley and return her safely, and also those who have taken up the heartfelt tasks of supporting the family during this difficult time," the statement said.
"We also appreciate all news reporters, news teams and informants for their help and would like to extend both our genuine thanks for helping to spread the word in our search for Ashley, as well as our request for privacy at this point."
Ashley's family also said that they would like to thank the police and authorities for "all their efforts and continuing support and, God willing, to a quick and happy resolution to this matter."
Ashley's brother, Jaime Cradehl, issued the statement on behalf of her family.
As questions about Ashley's disappearance, including speculation about whether she might have been bullied or run away, continued to arise among Ashley's anguished friends, a crowd gathered outside Southold High School Thursday afternoon to form a search party in the hopes of bringing missing Peconic teen Ashley Murray home safely.
Everyone present shared a message of love for Ashley, and a plea to bring her home safely.
"Everyone rallying together is truly a sight to behold," Cradehl said. "The irony is Ashley ran away thinking people wouldn't be there for her, and here they all are."
The search party, which was organized by Catapano, founder of the Facebook page, "Ashley Come Home," canvassed the area with flyers in the hopes that someone might recognize the 16-year-old,who went missing Monday.
Rather than focusing on the uncertainty, Catapano said she is channeling all her energy into helping to find her friend. "I feel she's still out there and we will find her," she said.
On Wednesday afternoon, Southold Town police issued a missing person update on Ashley.
The release stated that police are continuing to search for Ashley ,who was last seen at about 8 a.m.. on Monday at her Spring Lane home in Peconic.
Ashley is described as a white female, about 5'4" tall, weighing about 140 lbs. She has brown to redish brown hair, blue eyes and has a scar on her right wrist.
Ashley wears hearing aids in both ears, the release said. She was last seen wearing a black and gray hooded sweatshirt, red sweatpants and black boots.
Southold police said they have received dozens of tips from the public and are currently following up on a number of leads.
The investigation is being conducted with the assistance of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, several other East End police departments, as well as Suffolk County and New York State Law Enforcement Agencies.
A Missing Person Alert, which includes photographs of Ashley can be viewed on the town website by clicking here.
Investigators are encouraging anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Ashley Murray to contact the Southold Town Police Department at (631)765-2600. All calls will be kept confidential and any assistance is appreciated.
Murray, said her daughter's suicide note claimed she was upset with the world, mentioning a "watery grave" and a stranger "taking her to a deep abyss."
Murray said her daughter had posted dark Facebook status updates, saying that she was "no longer afraid," and "was just going to do it."
On Thursday morning, Murray said there had still been no word from her daughter, who left without important medication for anemia.
Murray said her daughter's last text, to another girl, was sent from Southold and also mentioned suicide.
When asked what she would say to her friend, if she could, Catapano said, "We all miss you, Ashley. We want you to come home."