SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – One year ago, Kandis Harris walked away from the Odyssey House and vanished.
July 15 marks the one-year anniversary of her disappearance. It’s been a long year for her grandmother who now belongs to a club no one wants to be part of.
“It’s that feeling that nobody can describe, the way a family feels when you have a loved one missing,” said Diane Carpenter. “You’re on a roller coaster of emotions. You don’t know if they are alive. Are they still out there? are they okay?”
The 17-year-old jumped a fence and left the Odyssey House where she was receiving treatment. Carpenter said Kandis was going through several personal setbacks, including the loss of her great-grandfather.
“She wasn’t able to be with the family when that happened,” said Carpenter. “I think that had a lot to do with Kandis and her mind. Kandis always turned to drugs as a way of hiding her pain.”
Her grandmother said Kandis’ social media activity stopped when she escaped from the facility in Salt Lake City.
She did learn of a possible sighting of Kandis in Salt Lake but could never confirm the information. It’s possible Kandis is living on the streets and may be a victim of human trafficking.
“There have been people’s names come up,” she said. “They’re involved in human trafficking and instead of drugs, they’re selling young girls.”
Carpenter said a day doesn’t go by without thinking of Kandis, who also goes by the name of Brooklyn.
Kandis’ cell phone was taken away while at Odyssey House. A search of her past cellphone activity offered no clues about her plans.
On social media, Carpenter keeps an eye on anything that can lead to her granddaughter’s whereabouts.
“The thing that’s the hardest right now for us is there still has been no kind of social media activity,” said Carpenter. “No sign of Kandiss whatsoever.”
One year has passed since Kandis disappeared and she said the worry never goes away.
“There’s times you get the feeling like she’s gone,” she said. “And then you get this guilt feeling what if she isn’t gone. What if she is out there?
The reward has been increased to $10,000 reward being offered for information that can lead to Kandis.
On the one-year anniversary, Carpenter said they are planning a candlelight vigil for Kandis and other missing people. She said Rick Morris of Tooele is also missing and his family was invited to attend.
The vigil begins around 8 p.m. at Spencer’s Field in Tooele. 968 South 810 West.