APD: Search for two runaway kids continues, number of missing children not unusual
The Anchorage Police Department is looking for two children who went missing in as many days.
Alicia Tatiana Smith, 16, and 12-year-old Kayden O’Neill left home on Sunday and Monday, respectively. Smith reportedly boarded a flight at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, but APD does not know where she was headed. O’Neill walked out of his East Anchorage home after an argument with his family, but left a note saying he would return in two weeks.
Police said 779 reports for runaway juveniles were filed in 2015, so the 318 seen so far this year is not necessarily high.
“It’s something we deal with on a daily basis,” said Jennifer Castro, an APD spokesperson.
Anchorage residents who sign up for text or email alerts from the police department have noticed many missing person notifications during the last week. Castro said police do not send notifications for every single missing person case, but will ask for the public’s help when needed.
“We’re going to do everything that we can do to help a kid, or a parent that has a kid missing,” Castro explained.
More children run away from home during the warmer months, according to APD. Castro said neither Smith nor O’Neill is suspected of being abducted.
“There’s not necessarily suspicion to believe that these juveniles have been harmed or kidnapped,” said Castro.
She noted that some people believe a certain time limit must be reached after a person goes missing in order to file a report.
“People assume that they need to wait eight or 12 or 24 hours or something like that. That’s actually not the case at all,” said Castro. “If you’re unable to locate your child and you’ve tried all the relatives and friends and family and you’re having no luck, please call us and we’ll come assist you.”
Police located to other missing children — 13-year-old Seiko Saechao and 12-year-old Samson Moore — earlier Wednesday.
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