Thursday, October 30, 2014

Family plea: Return Lana

By The Herald Staff | 5/8/2013

Family members of the late Kaylie Bailey and her missing 18-month-old daughter, Lana, made a public plea Wednesday night, asking whomever might have the toddler to return her to her family.

“Please give her back,” Linda Journeys, Lana’s great-aunt, said. “That’s all we want.”

Family members of the late Kaylie Bailey and her missing 18-month-old daughter, Lana, made a public plea Wednesday night, asking whomever might have the toddler to return her to her family.

“Please give her back,” Linda Journeys, Lana’s great-aunt, said. “That’s all we want.”

Shawn Pettijohn, Kaylie Bailey’s sister, also spoke at the Wednesday night news conference in Ottawa, regarding the case and the continued search for Lana.

Pettijohn said she hoped the little girl, who had a vivacious personality, would be found.

“She’s 18 months. She loves holding things up to her ear and saying, ‘I.’ She loves clapping her hands. She’ll make you work hard for a smile, but it’s always worth it,” Pettijohn said. “She has the biggest blue eyes any aunt would love, and I certainly do. We’re just hoping to hear good news about Lana at any time.”

The sheriff’s office hasn’t given any indication that they know where Lana is, Pettijohn said, and her family hasn’t either.

“We don’t care to speculate about where she is or who has her, but if she has been taken and she’s alive, we do want her back,” Pettijohn said. “There’s never been anything else that we’ve wanted. Just please bring her back to us.”

Lana is the daughter of the late Kaylie Bailey, who was identified as one of three bodies found earlier this week at 3197 Georgia Road, west of Ottawa.

Pettijohn described Bailey as a “spirited individual who loved life.”

“She was just trying to find her place in the world, and she was working very hard to become the person she wanted to be,” Pettijohn said.

She said her family was hopeful Bailey would not be the female victim named, but they knew it was a strong possibility.

“She was my baby sister,” Pettijohn said. “She loved her child very much, and I know there’s nothing she’d want more than to have Lana returned to my mother and to our family.”

The day Bailey was last seen, May 1, Pettijohn said, Bailey had planned to drop her daughter at Andrew Stout’s residence — the Georgia Road farmstead where the bodies were discovered Monday and Tuesday.

“He was going to babysit Lana when she was working night shift while we were out of town,” Pettijohn said.

The last time she saw her sister, she said, was the night before.

“She and I talked and we had a good talk and we hugged each other, and the last thing I said to her was, ‘I love you and I’ll see you on Sunday,’” Pettijohn recalled.

Pettijohn said she’d never met Stout. She’d only heard about him from Bailey.

“He seemed like a very decent young man, and our thoughts and prayers do go out to Andrew Stout’s family and Steven White’s as well,” she said.

Pettijohn said she was numb and angry from the events, and the rest of her family was experiencing all five stages of grief, but they were leaning on each other for support.

When asked if there was any message the family had to the person responsible for the crimes, Pettijohn responded.

“They know what they’ve done. They know what they’ve done. I hope they don’t do anything to anybody else, but they’re probably not watching this right now,” she said.

Despite a public outcry over the way authorities have handled the case, Pettijohn said, her family is satisfied with the work that has been done, and the family wasn’t planning on launching any kind of independent search party.

“I believe the police force is doing everything they can, and they are our best hope of finding Lana,” Pettijohn said.

She thanked the various agencies for their hard work, including the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Olathe Police Department, and was hopeful Lana would be found.

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