Lakeland police are seeking help locating two teens who were last seen leaving the Motel 6 on U.S. 98 near Interstate 4 on New Year’s Day. Haleigh Cole, 15, and Jorden Payne, 16, were visiting Jorden’s parents there; they left on foot, saying they were going to a store, but did not return.

 Jorden was wearing a red Nike jacket and gray shorts, according to an LPD Facebook post. Haleigh was wearing denim overalls and a “Friends” T-shirt, her mother said on Facebook. Jorden has family in Valdosta, Ga., LPD said.

Anyone with information about the teens’ location is asked to contact Detective Charlene Ali at 863.834.8974 or

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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