People of Parma join search for missing teen, Katarina Bitterman

Parents are mobilizing to help find missing Parma teen

PARMA - Day five ended in what has been an escalating effort by Parma Police and the FBI to find a missing teen.

Thursday another group of about 20 mobilized alongside the trained troops in the MetroParks West Creek Reservation in a race against time.

People of Parma, like mother of two, Heather Bowman.

"There is power in numbers. We're going to do what we have to do until we know what happened," says Bowman.

They are weary of watching for five, going on six days, waiting, wondering, "Where is Katarina Bitterman?"

"We can't just sit around and wait to see what's going to happen. We have to do something," said Bowman, headed into the woods a couple hours before dusk.

Earlier in the day a search plane was the eye in the sky for Parma police and FBI agents on the ground.

A K-9 unit assisted as well, smelling for any scent of the Normandy High School junior missing since a neighbor saw her walking Saturday afternoon from her home on Augustine Drive.

Police even called in a community emergency response team (CERT) of trained volunteers.

"I'm not certified CERT but I'm a certified mom. Our intuition is usually pretty good, so what could it hurt?," said Bowman as she dug into the mud of the MetroParks.

Katarina's own parents, heartbroken, in an exclusive interview with Channel 3 News on Tuesday.

"Family and friends have been incredible. You just  never think something like this is going to happen so you don't know what to do when it does. So you're at a loss. You just want to bring your child home," said Lou and Kristina Bitterman.

Feeling for Katarina's parents.

The Bittermans.

Their neighbor.

This grass roots group is grieving right along with them.

"We are not stopping until Kat is home. That's the bottom line," said Bowman.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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