A D.C. teenager who was classified as “missing” is now telling her story, saying that she was not “missing” but had run away because “I felt like my foster mother was mistreating me.”
The teenager, speaking to WUSA9, said that she turned herself in to the fire department and is now speaking out to try to help other children in her same situation.
“My friend texted me and said I was on TV and she sent me a screen shot of the missing person flyer, and then people were texting me videos of them crying,” she said.
The teenager explained that her mother is a drug addict and that she had been raised by her grandmother. However, when her grandmother died, the girl lived with her big sisters, going from sister to sister until, in October, after a fight with her sister, she was sent into foster care.
She said that she ran away to an apartment building close to her sister’s place and slept in the laundry area. She did not contact her sister because she didn’t want to go back into foster care.
“People would come in and say, ‘you don’t live here, get out!’ So, I would leave and just walk the streets until the sun came up. Men would stop their cars and say ‘Hey sweetheart, you want a ride?’ I was scared and I would run but it was better than living where I wasn’t wanted,” she recalled.
Asked what can be done to help her and other children in her situation feel safer, she said, “They can do something about the foster system and see how these people are treating us. I turned myself in so I can hopefully help someone else. If you are on the run, you may not want to go back, but I would prefer you go back because people on the streets are getting killed.”