By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer
When Brookelyn Shae Farthing, 18, graduated from Madison Southern High School in May, “she said this was going to be her best summer ever ― she was going to enjoy it,” Farthing’s sister Tasha Thomas said Monday.
But Farthing has been missing since June 22 when she was last seen in the Red Lick community, and her family is asking assistance and donations to help find her.
The Hog Trough, 103 Big Hill Ave., Richmond, is scheduled to host an Aug. 3 benefit, Thomas said in a Monday press conference in front of the business.
The goal is to raise $2,000 for a reward in exchange for information that leads to finding the missing teen, “but that (amount) could go up higher,” Thomas said.
The family also hopes to purchase space on a billboard, distribute more flyers and sell more T-shirts to support the search.
“We just want her home,” Thomas said through tears. “Our family is breaking down.... We don’t know where our sister is. Our mom doesn’t know where her daughter is. We don’t know what to do.”
Farthing was last seen on Dillon Court, which has a Berea address, just hours before a “suspicious fire” was extinguished in the home by local firefighters, police said.
In the weeks that followed, search teams led by law enforcement scoured the wooded regions in the Big Hill/Red Lick area near the home.
Police released a statement July 2 asking that property owners pay particular attention to freshly turned earth, unusual smells, ditch lines and remote areas.
Although no active searches are in progress, Thomas asked that those who want to search on their own contact the Kentucky State Police for a list of areas already explored.
She said the family was grateful that so many people in the community want to help bring her sister home.
“People you don’t know and who don’t know you ― they’re coming out of the woodwork to help. It just warms your heart,” Thomas said. “And those are the people who get you through this. If it wasn’t for these people, we wouldn’t make it through this.”
The benefit will begin with a balloon release shortly before motorcyclists take off on a ride in Farthing’s honor at 1 p.m. Event organizer Stephanie Parke hopes to see 100 or more bikers come out for the benefit.
Registration for the ride begins at 10:30 a.m. Admission is $10 per bike and $5 per rider.
The Hog Trough will serve food for $5 a plate and will entertain with live music all day.
“Ride for Brooke” T-shirts will be on sale for $10, and T-shirts with Farthing’s missing poster printed on them are currently available at the bar for $10.
Those under 21 are not permitted in the bar, but all of Farthing’s friends and family (including those under age 21) are encouraged to attend the balloon release before the ride begins, said Parke, who is a friend of the family.
“We want to keep her name out there and not let people forget about her,” Parke said. “If it were my child, I would want the support and love from my community as well.”
Anyone with information that could help with the investigation is encouraged to contact call the state police at 623-2404 or toll free at (800) 222-5555 or “text a tip” to 67283.
Crystal Wylie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.