VENICE ( — A desperate search is underway for a teenage girl who made national headlines after contracting a rare medical condition.

CBS2’s Greg Mills reports Hannele Cox disappeared from her family home in Oak Hills on Sunday, leaving her mother a note that said she would return “soon”.

But the 15-year-old girl stopped contacting friends via social media on Monday, and her family is worried she’s in serious trouble.

“That note is scary. It says, ‘I love you. Be back soon, Hannele,'” her mother, Amy Cox, said. “I am scared.”

CBS2/KCAL9 News first met Hannele when she was a horseback riding championship gymnast with dreams of one day competing in the Olympics.

But those dreams were dashed when she cut her hand on a fish tank and developed a bacterial infection that baffled doctors. Multiple surgeries later, they were able to save her hand, but it is still painful and she’s unable to use it.

“She doesn’t have a normal life and she hasn’t for the last eight years,” her mother said.

Hannele’s family says social media posts have led them to believe she may have run away to Venice Beach and could be hanging out with an older group of people there.

Her mother’s fears are heightened, she says, because Hannele recently admitted she feels hopeless and helpless after doctors told her recently there was nothing they could do to relieve the constant pain in her hand and back.


Girl Won’t Need Hand Amputated After Contracting Rare Bacteria From Fish Tank


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