Group gears up for Gilmore search

The search for missing Florida A&M University Alumna Ali Gilmore is set to kick off Saturday.

With the support of the Klaas Kids Foundation and Southeast K-9 Search and Rescue, and the community, volunteers will fan out across Tallahassee to look for any clue that could help bring the missing 30-year-old back to her family.

“Today, Klaas Kids Foundation, a national missing children’s foundation from Sausalito, Calif., has offered their assistance to the family, as well as Tallahassee Police Department to sponsor a community wide search effort in which we will utilize volunteers to essentially grid search Tallahassee to try to bring Ali Gilmore back home,” said Brad Dennis, director of search operations for the Klaas Kids Foundation.

Gilmore, who was four months pregnant at the time of her disappearance, has been missing since Feb. 3.

Saturday’s search will explore 25 different sectors of the city during two shifts. The first shift will begin at 9 a.m. and the other will start at 1 p.m. and go until 5 p.m.

The search will be headquartered at the Character Center located at 447 FAMU Way.

Volunteers are required to be at least 18 years old, have picture identification, wear clothing that is appropriate for searching, such as jeans and boots, and in good health.

Along with volunteers from the community, a K-9 search team has been contacted to lend their assistance.

“We’re here at the request of the Klaas Kids Foundation to help organize and coordinate the search,” said Pat Simmons, director of the Southeast K-9 Search and Rescue team.

The team is based in Tallahassee, but has also brought in members from Columbus, Ga., as well as Fort Myers.

“The number one objective is to support the family,” Simmons said. “The second objective is to assist TPD in clearing areas for clues.”

Tracy Smith, Gilmore’s older sister, says the outpouring of support from the community has been very comforting.

“At night when we sleep, we know that there are people who care about Ali, love Ali, and it’s just really nice to know that the community and volunteers are supporting us,” Smith said.

Gilmore’s mother, Laurvetta Grimsley McLawrence, also renewed her plea for people with information to come forward.

“I wish that anyone with any information would please come out,” McLawrence said. “I’m begging, please come out and call the Tallahassee Police Department.”

For more information about the search and the case, visit

Anyone with any information regarding the case is asked to call the Tallahassee Police Department at (850) 891-4200 or Big Bend CrimeStoppers at (850) 891-HELP.