Yashanee Vaughn: Missing teen from Portland, Oregon FOUND

yashaneevaughnYashanee Vaughn was shot, killed and buried.  Parrish Bennette, 16,  who was arrested for her murder led police to her remains.  She was positively identified through DNA testing by the state medical examiner’s office.  Parrish was found guilty of killing her in  2011.  He has been sentenced to 18 years in prison with no chance of early release.

Original story: The family of Yashanee Vaughn, 14, says the police “dropped the ball” in handling the case of their missing daughter from Portland, Oregon.  You have heard me gripe about this before, when I reported on the missing Marcus Herrero case

Police officers are giving several choices when handling a child’s missing person case.  They can label them a run away or at risk.  Far too many are being labeled runaways.

What this means is no one is actively looking for the child, although the information is put into a database in case a police officer comes across them.

In Yashanee’s case, she was labeled a runaway because of her past trouble with the law, according to Yashanee’s mother, Shaquita Louis.

“I didn’t file it as a runaway.  I filed it as she was missing, and I gave the description of what she had on, and next thing you know, I’m calling him and he’s like, ‘Well, there’s nothing I can do, she’ll be back.  She just ran away, I can’t do anything because of her rap sheet,'” said Shaquita.

Shaquita’s is angry because she knows her child is not a runaway.

“Especially when you don’t get no help, and they’re looking at you like, ‘Oh, your daughter’s just a runaway.’ That hurts because they’re supposed to be here to protect and serve us, and they’re not doing that.  I’m just so angry with police. I’m so frustrated. How could you wait 10 days later? If it was your child, would you do that?”

Sgt. Pete Simpson said in a written statement that the dept was doing everything they could to try and help the family and to find Yashanee.  Portland Police Lt. Kelli Sheffer said that fliers and information was distributed internally immediately after Yashanee went missing.  Sheffer also said that initially Yashanee left on her own and would return home when she wished, but on Tuesday she was declared “at risk”.

This is where I get frustrated.  I believe that every single child, runaway or not, should have an alert.  An alert that goes out with no particular specification tied to it other than the public should be looking for a missing child.  Why?  Because a neighborhood, a city, a village, has a right to know when one of their members is missing and they should be allowed to look for this child regardless of WHY they ran away.

Specifications about Yahsanee

Yashanee is a student at Helensview School in Northeast Portland, and she was last seen  around 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, after eating dinner with a friend at a Taco Bell on 82nd  as she was waiting for the number 72 TriMet bus at Thompson Street near Madison High School.

Yashanee Laface Vaughn, Born December 4th 1996 Wt. 115lbs Ht 5’2 African American usually shoulder length black hair bold bright smile, she was wearing yellow sweats, navy blue converse, and a black leather jacket.

If you are living in Yashanee’s neighborhood, make contact with others on her Facebook page and come together and search for her.

Anyone with information about Yashanee Vaughn should call 503-774-5212.

Visit Yashawnee Vaughn Please come home safely.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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