Mother hopes to find closure after search in Morgan Bauer case

Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 6:09 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After searching for her daughter for more than seven years, the mother of Morgan Bauer is hoping the latest developments in the case can help her bring her daughter home.

Morgan Bauer grew up in Aberdeen. In February 2016, she moved to the Atlanta area at just 19 years old. Just two weeks after she moved, her loved ones lost contact with Bauer.

Bauer’s best friend, Taryn Ryan, was the last person to speak with her on February 26th.

”It was really just a quick five-minute Skype conversation and kind of like, ‘I love you. I have to go, talk to you later.’ I just never got that later,” said Ryan.

Bauer was last seen being dropped off by friends at a gas station in Covington, Georgia. She got into a green Eclipse with an unknown driver. Her phone’s last ping was in Yellow River Park in Porterdale, Georgia, on February 27th.

On Thursday, Porterdale police confirmed that a search they conducted at a property just half a mile from Bauer’s phone’s last ping was related to her case.

”So far, the search has located items of evidentiary interest,” said Sgt. Michael Walden of the Porterdale Police Department.

What those items found are has not yet been revealed.

Bauer’s mother, Sherri Keenan, said authorities have kept her in the loop as much as they can.

”They’ve made it very comfortable for me to be able to feel very much a part of what’s happening. Even though there’s not a lot of information they can give me, they’ve been very inclusive,” said Keenan.

Keenan said she could not discuss all of the details she was made aware of as she does not want to interfere with the investigation.

Within the whirlwind of emotions that came from Thursday’s search, Keenan said she has sympathy for the owners of the property, who authorities say have been cooperative.

”My heart just goes out to that family. They must be going through a lot also. It must be very upsetting for them, and my heart just goes out to everyone involved,” said Keenan.

Although she’s always held on to hope, Keenan said she knows that if Bauer could come home, she would.

”I don’t think they would have done everything that they did if there wasn’t a reason for it. I know Morgan would have reached out to somebody if she had an opportunity by now. So, I feel like we’re coming to the place of understanding what happened to Morgan, which I’m really grateful for. I’m sad, but I’m grateful,” said Keenan.

While the possibility of Bauer coming home safely begins to seemingly fade, Keenan said she just wants to be able to bring her daughter home.

”At this point, after seven years, I feel like in my heart, I already kind of know. If they found something, I’m going to do what I said I would and I’m going to go to Atlanta and I’m going to bring my daughter home to South Dakota,” said Keenan.

The Porterdale Police Department confirmed that they concluded their search of the property on Broad Street Thursday night, but did not release any further details.