Missing 11-year-old girl from Brandon found alive

Posted at 10:22 AM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 18:00:16-05

UPDATE | Hillsborough County officials have confirmed that Jenna Irmler has been found alive. She was found in the area of Paul S. Buchman Highway just inside Pasco County.

At some point in time, Jenna walked into a Circle K convenience store on Paul Buchman Highway and left. 

Deputies say a citizen and also a convenience store clerk reported seeing a child matching Jenna's description. She was still wearing the same clothing she was reported missing in. She also had a backpack with her. Deputies believe she was trying to avoid being found. 

Deputies believe Jenna left her home due to an emotional situation. 

Jenna had a history of leaving her home occasionally. In each instance, she would only be gone for an hour or so. This situation was much different than other occurrences. 

Jenna is in good condition and officials are working to reunite her with her family. Hillsborough County officials are working to find out what caused Jenna to leave and what exactly happened while she was missing. 

ORIGINAL STORY | Deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and dozens of members of the community are searching for an 11-year-old girl who left her home in Brandon Tuesday night and has not returned.

Jenna Irmler, 11, was last seen at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night and she was reported missing at 5 a.m. on Wednesday. 

“She could be anywhere so I’m gonna keep my eyes peeled. I’m gonna spread the word," said Reyna Rivera. 

Jenna has Asperger's syndrome. She is described as a white female, 5'2" tall, approximately 130 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen in a gray t-shirt with black sweatpants with a pink stripe on the side. Officials are asking members of the community to call 911 immediately if they see Jenna. Her mother says she is extremely shy and if you approach her, it may scare her away. 

Dozens of community members that included friends, classmates, and total strangers began their own search late Wed. night to do what they could to assist law enforcement.

"This is a parents worst nightmare if there is a small thing we can do as a community we will do it," Richard Eatman said.  "I just pray to God we find this young lady."

Deputies are using infrared technology and ATV's from a helicopter to search nearby woods. Bloodhounds tried to pick up her trail before bad weather rolled in.

“It’s definitely a concern— the wildlife out here. All of it is a concern— the fact that she’s missing, the fact that she’s 11, she’s been gone this long. She has Asperger's. She is highly functioning," said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Cristal Nunez.

If you would like to help search for Jenna, a search party will head out from St. Stephen's Catholic Church on Thursday morning. 

A Facebook page has been created and details on when to meet will be posted on the page. 

Anyone with information about Jenna's whereabouts is asked to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.


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