Human Interest

For nearly two months, every street she walks down, every store she goes into and every phone call she receives, Lydia Murphy hopes that each may lead her one step closer to finding her daughter.

On Aug. 17, 17-year-old Melody Murphy of Cottonwood walked away from a facility in Flagstaff where she was being treated for mental health issues following an attempted suicide.

“My biggest concern is her safety and mental state,” Lydia said. “I’m worried about her becoming suicidal over this crisis that she is facing. I’m also concerned about any possibility of endangerment to her.

“This has been very difficult. A lot is going on at once and everything hit us like brick wall at same time.”

Melody is 5-3 and weighs around 100 pounds. She has long, brown hair but those who have reportedly seen her say that her hair may be shorter and black.   

Melody was last seen nearly a month ago in Sedona along with a male acquaintance in his 60s. In addition to Sedona, she reportedly has been seen in Prescott, Lake Havasu City, Flagstaff and Phoenix. Lydia said she’s concerned she may have made her way to California either alone or with the older male.

“I have been going from Phoenix, with family, back to Cottonwood and back again,” she said. “When I am in Phoenix I spend a lot of time making calls and emailing as many people, places and businesses as I can. When I am in Cottonwood, I have used most of my time questioning people and passing out flyers. I also call investigators daily to ask about updates, or give any leads that I might have.”

Lydia said she feels the sighting a month ago in Sedona was credible. Others have been through second-hand potential sightings or those who have left comments on social media.
“They will write about it or tell others instead of calling the police,” she said. “So then I try to reach the person [who posted it] to ask more questions so that I can follow through. That can be taxing since I am already doing a lot of other things to try to find Melody.

“If someone does see her, don’t assume there’s not a need to call police if she is with an adult. Do not approach her or anyone she is with. Instead, I ask them to please immediately call the police and leave the rest for the police to figure out.”

Lydia was then asked what she’d like to say to her daughter.

“That is a hard question, because there are so many things that I would like to say, and comfort her,” she said. “I would tell her that I know she must be very scared, and that we are here to help her and support her. That I miss her so much as do her sister, brother and others.

“I would tell her that we care deeply about her safety and are praying for her every day that she is well and remains safe and finds her way home soon. And, that we will never ever give up on her.”

Those who see Melody Murphy are asked to contact the Cottonwood Police Department at (928) 634-4246 or the Prescott Police Department at (928) 777-1900.


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