Mother holds out hope for daughter who went missing in 2016

Nearly seven years ago, Morgan Bauer vanished seemingly without a trace.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 5:45 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Nearly seven years ago, Morgan Bauer vanished seemingly without a trace.

Bauer grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Her mother, Sherri Keenan, says her daughter was charismatic and had a gentle heart.

”When she walked in a room, you knew she was there. She just commanded a whole room. She was beautiful and funny and her laugh could just completely take you away. She was kind,” said Keenan.

Bauer was also a free spirit, so it wasn’t shocking when she decided to move over 1,300 miles away to Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of just 19.

Keenan says her daughter was working in a club while she looked for a place to live. Bauer was in Atlanta for only 13 days when suddenly, she stopped posting on social media and communicating with her friends back home in South Dakota. February 25th, 2016, was the last time anyone heard from Bauer.

When Bauer couldn’t be contacted, her mother knew something was wrong. Keenan jumped on a flight to Atlanta and reported Bauer missing.

Bauer was last seen when friends dropped her off at a gas station and she got into a green Eclipse with an unknown driver. Her phone last pinged in Yellow River Park Porterdale, Georgia.

It’s been almost seven years since Bauer was reported missing, and her case has gone cold.

While many family members believe if Bauer could come home, she would, her mother hasn’t given up hope.

“I just think most in our family think that she’s gone. I have a lot of people ask me what I think. In this case, it’s just really hard because I want to hold on to hope. I can’t imagine. I just can’t imagine her not being here. I can’t imagine living without her. I can’t imagine being okay with all of this. I just can’t imagine figuring out how to live with it sometimes,” said Keenan.

Keenan created the Missing Morgan Facebook page in March of 2016. It now has over 11,000 members. While Keenan still uses the page to bring awareness to her daughter’s case, she also shares other missing person cases to help those that can relate to her pain.

”Having a place for people to connect and just not feel so alone, where they can share their family members or other people can share, is something. If we can’t find Morgan, maybe we can help somebody else find their child,” said Keenan.

Keenan says the past year has been one of the hardest. Although more and more time is passing since Bauer was last seen, Keenan says she wants to keep her story alive.

”I just don’t want her to be forgotten about because she’s so amazing. Even if this is the end of her story, it wasn’t the beginning. Her life matters and she touched so many people,” said Keenan.

Keenan will be hosting a candlelight vigil on the seven-year anniversary of Bauer’s disappearance at Yellow River Park to honor her daughter.