BEAVER DAM, Ky. (WEHT) Authorities continue searching for leads in the cases of Amber Clare, an Ohio County teenager, and Noah Clare, a three-year-old from Tennessee more than a week after they went missing.

It happens after a car connected to their disappearance was found in southern California. Family in Amber’s hometown of Beaver Dam, and other residents are hoping for their safe return.

There are roughly 3,500 residents who live in Beaver Dam, and much of their collective attention has been focused on the cases of Amber and Noah Clare. Some family members say they were surprised at the latest developments, while residents continue hoping for their safe return.

“We’re all going through a lot, the kids, her brothers and sisters, emotionally and mentally, this is taking a toll on them,” said Jamie Bravata, Amber’s mother.

She, and other family members, are still going through all the possibilities of what happened to her and Noah, after the car believed to belong to Jacob Clare was found in San Clemente, California. She believes her daughter’s with him after seeing her hat through a window, but doesn’t understand why an AMBER alert wasn’t issued for her like it was for Noah.

“I believe she has met all the (Tennessee) state police’s criteria. I do know that it needs to be changed, and in the future with this, it needs to be changed for everybody because if there is no AMBER Alert for Amber, then it really takes its toll on this whole case or investigation,” she said.

Family members also say Amber takes medications for seizures, and believe she hasn’t taken them since she was last seen. Christi McLain, Amber’s aunt and Jacob Clare’s sister, says she hasn’t spoken with him in months. She says the situation’s been a nightmare for everyone who knew the kids.

“When I was driving home the other day, my 13-year-old said ‘Mom are you crying?’ I said, ‘No, I’m just still in shock. It doesn’t seem like this is happening to our family,” she said.

Back in Beaver Dam, residents say it’s a strange situation they never thought could happen here.

“It’s a small town. It’s the first we’ve ever seen something like this to happen,” said Carol Butts. “I hope they catch him, and I hope the kids are safe.”

(This story was originally published on November 17, 2021)