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UPDATE: Jessica Taylor Cook and Matthew Shane Sutherland have been found.
The Madison Police Department (MPD) is currently requesting community assistance in locating a 16-year-old Madison resident, after going missing in January.
MPD is asking everyone to be on the lookout for Jessica Taylor Cook, 16, of Madison; as well as 18-year-old Matthew Shane Sutherland. Cook is presumed to be a voluntary runaway with Sutherland.
According to MPD, a preliminary investigation revealed that between 10 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, and 2:20 a.m. on Friday, March 1, Cook voluntarily left the residence she shares with her mother on NE Horry Ave., in Madison. Based on interviews, MPD Detective, Sgt. Mark Joost, suspected Cook was with Sutherland and requested that deputies from the Madison County Sheriff's Office check Sutherland's Cherry Lake residence for Cook. MPD states that shortly after, Sutherland and Cook fled from deputies at approximately 3 a.m. in a black Ford sedan.
The vehicle fled from the deputies from Cherry Lake Crossroads, traveling southbound on Hwy. 53, at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, in inclement weather. MCSO deputies initially lost contact with the vehicle before MCSO Sgt. Chris O'Brian located the vehicle wrecked in a deep drainage ditch at the intersection of Hwy. 53 and Rocky Springs Church Rd., in Madison. According to an MPD press release, both front airbags were deployed and the occupants had already fled on foot. Attempts to locate Cook and Sutherland with K9 units were unsuccessful.
It is believed that Cook and Sutherland are still being assisted by Madison County residents. It should be noted that anyone who assists Cook could face prosecution for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Jessica Taylor Cook is described as being a white female, standing 5'3" tall and weighing approximately 140 lb. Cook has brown hair and brown eyes.
Matthew Sutherland is described as a white male, weighing approximately 145 lb and standing approximately 5'11" tall. Sutherland has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Cook and/or Sutherland is requested to contact the MPD's Sgt. Mark Joost at (850) 464-8417. You may also call the Madison County Sheriff's Office Communications Center at (850) 973-4001.