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'Worst Outcome' in Mom's Disappearance

Fishermen found severed foot in pond
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2019 1:58 AM CDT
Police released this photo of Najah Ferrell.   (Avon Police)

(Newser) – Police in Indiana say the search for missing mother Najah Ferrell has had the "worst outcome." A severed foot two fishermen found in a pond in northwest Indiana Monday is believed to be that of the 30-year-old, who was last seen March 15, NBC Chicago reports. Police say they are waiting for DNA results before making an official confirmation—but family members have told them a "Najah" tattoo on the foot matches one Ferrell was known to have. Ferrell, an Avon resident, has two biological children and three foster children. She was reported missing after failing to show up on the third day of a new job at a Panera in Indianapolis. Her vehicle was found 2.5 miles away and police found some of her belongings scattered along a highway, but no remains have been found apart from the foot.

"We knew fairly quickly this was bad news for the family," Avon Deputy Chief of Investigations Brian Nugent said Wednesday, per the Indianapolis Star. "It is truly the worst outcome that we could have experienced." The case hasn't been classed as a homicide yet, said Nugent, who urged members of the public to come forward with information. "Somebody knows something about this case," he said. "We are simply trying to appeal to what we know is the majority of the state ... which is good-hearted people who want to do the right thing." He said officers will search the pond in the days ahead, assisted by cadaver dogs and sonar. Police say Ferrell once lived in Lake County, where the foot was found. (Read more Indiana stories.)

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