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Archive for Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Friends help in search for runaway teenager

Area mothers and fathers are helping with the search for missing 13-year-old Stevie Drake. Drake is a runaway, which police handle differently than child abductions.

June 8, 2010

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On May 29, family members reported to police that 13-year-old Stevie Drake, Lawrence, had run away from home. Stevie's mother says she's not seen him since.

On May 29, family members reported to police that 13-year-old Stevie Drake, Lawrence, had run away from home. Stevie's mother says she's not seen him since.

Friends of the family of a missing Lawrence teen spent Monday posting more fliers around local businesses, hoping someone will have information that leads to the boy’s safe return home.

“I just know that his mom’s worried sick, as any parent would be,” family friend Crystal Dunn said. “I have two kids of my own, and if it was me, I wouldn’t know what to do.”

Lawrence police consider Stevie Drake a runaway. The 13-year-old South Junior High student was last seen on the afternoon of May 29, just days after a Douglas County judge signed a court order allowing Stevie’s father to have only supervised visits with his son. Because the case does not involve a child abduction, no statewide Amber Alert can be issued.

Stevie has run away before, but now that he’s been missing 10 days, family members feel there’s cause for concern.

“We’re just exhausted,” Stevie’s aunt Elizabeth Alvarez said. “We don’t sleep well because we don’t know where he is.”

Lawrence police said Stevie’s case is not unusual. The department received 185 reports of runaways in 2009 and to date in 2010 another 47 kids have been reported as runaways. Still, police actively search for the children.

“We get so many reports of runaways that if we have information that somebody knows where a juvenile or runaway might be, we will go to those places of interest and seek them out if we can,” Lawrence police Sgt. Matt Sarna said.

Sarna said the majority of runaways are found through word of mouth.

“We find a lot of the juveniles through the kids,” Sarna said. “A lot of them know where they’re hiding out, and they’ll give us a call and let us know.”

That’s why friends and relatives are continuing to spread the word, plastering Stevie’s pictures all over town.

“Anything we can do to get the word out,” Dunn said, while hanging fliers at a strip mall near Clinton Parkway and Kasold Drive. “Don’t hesitate to call. If you’re a young kid and know where he is, you won’t get in trouble. His mom and dad just want to know if he’s OK.”

Anyone with information on Stevie’s whereabouts can call the Lawrence Police Department at (785) 832-7509 or the anonymous Crime Stoppers hot line at (785) 843-TIPS.

Comments

kansastrish 4 years, 6 months ago

Please keep this in the news until this boy is found! Thanks.

kansastrish 4 years, 6 months ago

Please keep this in the news until this boy is found! Thanks.

Nikki May 4 years, 6 months ago

The thing that worries me is they say it's "not unusual" and there were 185 reports last year. Well, how many of those reports had 2 weeks go by?

liberallibrarian 4 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, LJW, for running another story. Hope this child is found soon!!!

whatdoyouthink 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm glad to see another story on this. The more it is mentioned, the better. Somebody please come forth with information on his whereabouts.

ang_1966 4 years, 6 months ago

Have they checked the river at all? If he couldn't go to the pool, maybe he decided he would go swimming down at the river instead. He lives in N. Lawrence correct? Just a thought.

xratedsgirl 4 years, 6 months ago

maybe places like underbridges that is an easy hiding place, i ran away for over a week once living under a bridge,stealing food.right in plain site for a week.hope he calls home.

costello 4 years, 6 months ago

My heart goes out to the family. I know how painful it is not knowing where your child is and whether or not he's safe. My thoughts are with you.

Richard Payton 4 years, 6 months ago

This boys family may want to call 1-800-843-5678 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Since, this boy has been called into authorites they should call (304)625-2000 and enter the boy's information into the National Crime Information Center database. This last number is EST 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. I hope this helps and that your boy is found soon.

Tammie Bryant 4 years, 6 months ago

What I think is interesting is that, the dad is hardly mentioned. His immediate Paternal family isn't part of the Facebook group...............................

nellieb 4 years, 6 months ago

His dad is very involved in the search, and we (his paternal family) are all members of the please help find stevie drake facebook group. Almost all of us have also left messages for Stevie on his personal facebook page. Most of us were at his vigil also. The news people just aren't showing us or talking to the father. Please don't post trash when you don't know the facts. We are all so worried, and doing all that we can. Unfortunately, the other side is trying to block our involvement. We wish we could all come together, and put the past aside. Maybe if some people would put away their resentment for just a little while and focus on Stevie he would already have been found.

grandmaof6 4 years, 6 months ago

Stevie's paternal family is involved in searching for Stevie. Maybe you should ask the people doing the reporting why they have not talked to the Father or his family. If you don't know the facts maybe it is best not to post anything. We are part of the Facebook group and have also started a FB prayer chain. His paternal side loves and cares for him just as much as his Mom and her family. They are worried sick and have been out searching around the clock. Please don't talk trash on either side of this family. They have enough pain to deal with and need your prayers not your judgements.

grandmaof6 4 years, 6 months ago

Stevie's paternal family is involved in searching for Stevie. Maybe you should ask the people doing the reporting why they have not talked to the Father or his family. If you don't know the facts maybe it is best not to post anything. We are part of the Facebook group and have also started a FB prayer chain. His paternal side loves and cares for him just as much as his Mom and her family. They are worried sick and have been out searching around the clock. Please don't talk trash on either side of this family. They have enough pain to deal with and need your prayers not your judgements.

grandmaof6 4 years, 6 months ago

Stevie's paternal family is involved in searching for Stevie. Maybe you should ask the people doing the reporting why they have not talked to the Father or his family. If you don't know the facts maybe it is best not to post anything. We are part of the Facebook group and have also started a FB prayer chain. His paternal side loves and cares for him just as much as his Mom and her family. They are worried sick and have been out searching around the clock. Please don't talk trash on either side of this family. They have enough pain to deal with and need your prayers not your judgements.

KansasPerson 4 years, 6 months ago

It is a bit distressing to hear the "all in a day's work" attitude from the police officer in the video. Yes, you have 200 "runaways" reported in a year, but then you go on to say that you tend to check the "places of interest" he may go -- and you've DONE that and he's not there, right?

Then you say "Most of our runaways are kids who don't come home at night... A lot of them return the next day." This child has been gone since May 29! Isn't it pretty plain by now that it's not your usual case of a kid who slept over at a friend's house and didn't tell his parents?

Thirdly, how do you even KNOW he's a "runaway" (whatever that means anyway) -- he left the house and disappeared! Yes, he voluntarily left the house, but how on earth do you know what happened after that? He could have walked half a block and then been picked up by someone in a car. I don't like this terminology; it's meaningless once the child's whereabouts are unknown.

Fourth and last, it's not escaping anyone's attention that you're now calling him a "teenager" when it was earlier "child," and that you're mentioning the previous times he's run away (please keep in mind that it was never for this long!) and the custody battle and the recent decision on supervised visits. He's a missing child and all the usual places have been checked -- I can't see how anything is important right now except doing everything in our power to find him.

grammaddy 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree KansasPerson. This gets scarier every day he is gone.

TheEleventhStephanie 4 years, 6 months ago

Well put, Kansas person. This kid has been missing for 11 days and the cops act as if this happens all the time, but right after they say that most are home in a just a couple days. I noticed too that they now call him a "teenager." The sad fact is that there is a missing CHILD in our community and the cops don't seem to give a chit. No matter how he left, a 13 year old shouldn't just be left to fend for himself out there because the cops are too busy catching speeders at 20th and Mass every day If some of his friends are hiding him somewhere, they should do the right thing and tell an adult.

greenworld 4 years, 6 months ago

I know if he was my kid I might think about offering a reward for getting him back which seems pretty bad but people offer rewards for lost pets all the time, why not their son.

twoleftfeet 4 years, 6 months ago

Maybe they don't have the money to offer up a reward. You don't know so don't judge. I'm sure they're doing everything in their power that they can.

cptv8ing 4 years, 6 months ago

If his friends really don't know where he is, he's not a runaway. This should have been treated as an abduction from the beginning.

BBFantastic 4 years, 6 months ago

Both sides of the family are worried sick, obviously, but it is sad to think people start forming opinions of the father of this child, and the father's family, based on the sheer fact they are not mentioned as much as the mother/mother's side, and also because they have not been interviewed or quoted in the papers/news. I also find it disturbing that in one article, the writer saw it fit to throw in the fact that Stevie's father, just days before Stevie's disappearance, was ordered to have supervised visitation only with his children. It seems to me that this will only cause the public to start to wonder if the father or the father's family had something to do with this young man's disappearance. I believe that it couldn't be further from the truth. I also believe there was a lot more going on at home than has been reported. Yes, children get upset when they are not allowed to do something, (in this case, supposedly because he wasn't allowed to go to the pool) and some may even take off out of anger for a bit, but come on...he has been gone since May 29th, and I just wonder if now he is really just too scared to come home, for fear of getting into even "more" trouble. May sound strange, but it's certainly a possibility. If he is still in the area, he must know (i would think) about the great concern for him, and might even know of the extent of the publicity surrounding him. I just hope and pray that he can find the inner strength to go to a trusted adult, and let them know he is ok. He has so many family members who are just sick about this whole thing, and they all hope he will call, or let them know he is ok somehow. If an adult knows where he is, then please, please do the right thing, and let someone know. If one or more of his friends know something, same goes for you. Please do the right thing so the family has him back in their arms again.

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