A woman shopping at Miller Bros. Super Valu in New London reported seeing Abbi Obermiller in the back of her boyfriend's vehicle recently.
However, an investigator said, the woman didn't notify authorities immediately because she didn't realize the 17-year-old North Fairfield girl was still missing.
As a result, police searched several New London locations within the last few days, but didn't find her.
Obermiller, of 104 E. Main St., North Fairfield, will be a senior at South Central High School this fall. She was reported missing just before 6 a.m. June 7 when she was visiting her grandparents' house at 73 N. Prospect St. in Norwalk. She was last seen about five hours earlier.
The girl's mother, Rose Obermiller, said it's unusual for her daughter to not only disappear, but not make any further contact with her family.
Describing her daughter as having a "bouncy" personality, Obermiller said Abbi is "very enthusiastic about everything."
"She wants to be involved in everything there is," she added.
Norwalk Police Detective Sgts. Jim Fulton and Todd Temple have been following up on multiple leads in the case. But still there's been no sign of the young girl.
Based on a tip, Norwalk police and the Huron County Sheriff's Office, with a canine unit, searched residences on Fairfield Angling and Exchange roads Sunday. Still no Abbi.
"We will do everything we can to get her back here," Fulton said Monday.
The detective was asked if the girl is at risk of being harmed.
"Anytime a 17-year-old is away from home, that possibility exists," Fulton said.
He suspects Abbi left her grandparents' house voluntarily, but he said he doesn't know if she's at her present location willingly. Various tipsters have placed the girl in Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia.
When asked why her daughter might travel to those states, Rose Obermiller said she has "no idea whatsoever."
Amber Enderby, Abbi's sister, said she suspects Abbi had a disagreement with her parents over dating Robert "Bobby" J. Young, 20, and that's why she went to her grandparents' house.
"I think Bobby is involved in her leaving," Enderby said Monday.
Police consider Young, of 408 S. Exchange Road, New London, a "person of interest" in his girlfriend's disappearance, but repeatedly have declined to call him a suspect. Abbi has been dating Young since about August.
Chief Dave Light, early in the investigation, said he's "convinced the boyfriend knows more about her whereabouts than what he is telling us."
"He was saying he had no contact with her, but text messages showed differently," Light said.
Officers used a search warrant Thursday at Young's home, but didn't find the girl and didn't seize any evidence.
Young pleaded "not guilty" to obstructing official business Monday in Norwalk Municipal Court.
In a telephone interview Monday with the Reflector, Young said he believes his girlfriend is OK and painted himself as being "caught in the middle," with the investigation "making me look like a horrible person."
"A lot of stuff they have been telling you is they did come out here with a search warrant, but they were invited in here voluntarily three or four times," he said.
"They said Abbi had called me about an hour before she was reported missing and that is false. They are reporting we were going to go to West Virginia to get married. That is false," Young said.
Rose Obermiller has contacted both the Norwalk police and sheriff's office to get updates about the investigation.
"They have no leads. They don't have anything concrete that we can pick up," the mother said.
Anyone with information about Abbi Obermiller is encouraged to call the Norwalk Police Department at (419) 663-6780 or (419) 668-3311. Tipsters can also call the Huron County Sheriff's Office at (419) 663-2828.