Search underway in Missouri for missing 36-year-old mother

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BUTLER, Mo. -- Investigators in Bates County are expected to continue their search for a missing mom of four on Wednesday.

Nicole Mallatt was last seen at her home near Butler, Missouri, on Nov. 26, according to the Bates County Sheriff’s Office. She was reported missing four days later.

“We’re nervous, sick to our stomachs because we don’t know where she is,” said Tina Noack, Mallatt’s aunt.

Several of Mallatt’s relatives arrived in Butler on Tuesday, passing out fliers of the missing 36-year-old.

“Hopefully, she didn’t get a ride with somebody and they took off with her or with all the other stuff going on in this world, you just never know anymore,” Noack said.

The Bates County Sheriff’s Office called in the Southwest Major Case Squad on Monday. They’ve been canvassing the area around a 240-acre farm Mallatt shares with her boyfriend and four children.

“[Tuesday morning] we started doing a ground search with drones, water boats and volunteers,” said Sheriff Chad Anderson, standing near an empty field near Mallatt’s home. “The scene behind me, we found an article of clothing. We’re not sure whose it is or where it belongs.”

Investigators haven’t found anything in their search that leads them to believe that foul play is involved at this time, according to Anderson. He added that those who know Mallatt are cooperating with their investigation, including her ex-husband, who was the last known person to speak with her.

“We just want to make sure that we’re eliminating any locations possible and still holding hope that she’s at friend or neighbor’s house,” Anderson said.

“I just want her to come back,” Noack said while crying.

Noack said her niece has gone off in the past without telling people where, but never for this long. She said the “fun-loving” mom especially wouldn’t have missed Thanksgiving with her kids.

“She’s very close to her kids. She loves her kids to death,” Noack said. “If anything has happened to her, this is going to kill her children because they love their mom.”

Several law enforcement agencies are assisting the Bates County Sheriff’s Office with their search for Mallatt. If you know where she might be, call the Bates County Sheriff’s Office at 660-679-3232.

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