Runaway teen located, then takes off again from safehouse
The family of a missing 14-year-old Bethany girl is asking for help from those who might have seen her. Jade Richard's parents believe the teen might be living with other adults who think she needs protection.
Jade was reported missing Jan. 27 at about 8:30 p.m. after leaving the ChristieCare facility (formerly the Christie School) in Lake Oswego, a residential treatment facility for at-risk youth.
She was found by Portland Police Monday and placed at a runaway safehouse in Portland, then ran away again.
ChristieCare officials did not confirm that Jade was a student at the facility, citing confidentiality issues.
They and Lake Oswego Police, for the same reasons, did not comment on the 14-year-old's behavior or endorse a wanted poster cautioning that Jade can be both charming and manipulative.
Jade's mother, Belinda Richard, did provide information she thought might help find the girl.
She said Jade was taken to the ChristieCare facility by Child Protective Services after accusing her parents of abusing her about four months ago.
She said Jade was motivated to make the allegations to escape restrictions at home. The allegations have since proved false, she said, but Jade still struggles with being truthful.
'If someone asked her a question she would not tell the truth. She would say it so convincingly that you would just believe it,' she said.
'It's always like a protection mechanism for her, it's not to harm anyone else, it's just to protect herself. Most people who meet her and know her like her a lot,' she said.
Belinda said Jade is very kind and polite, not rude, and may be telling people she is on the run to escape abuse.
When found on Monday, she was in Southeast Portland at a Fred Meyer with another girl. The two claimed to be sisters, calling themselves Lisa and Brianna Cosby.
'My biggest concern is that there's some parents who are letting her stay with them thinking that she's in danger and protecting her,' said Belinda. 'She's not in danger, she's not a foster kid, she's none of those things, she's just a regular 14-year-old kid who's making bad choices.'
In the two weeks since Jade's disappearance, Belinda said the family has not heard from their teen-age daughter and there has been no activity on her MySpace page.
Jade, who Belinda said recently learned that her stay at the Christie facility would continue, was moved to a lower security area before running away for the first time.
She said she was disappointed Jade was placed in a second, unsecured location once located by police.
'Because it wasn't secure, she just walked right out,' said Belinda.
'This is a long time for her to be on her own … I just need parents to know, there's no problem calling, and harboring her is against the law,' she said.
They are also asking anyone with direct contact with Jade to ask her to call 1-800-Runaway. This is a confidential number and messages are waiting there for her. She can also call the number if she feels unsafe and needs to talk.
Belinda said Jade has never run away from home for longer than six hours and that the family is very worried.
'I think that she believes that we don't care about her and she has attachment issues so she truly believes only her friends care about her and her friend is whomever she meets today,' she said. 'By now, after two weeks, she has a lot of really, really close friends.'
Jade is described as African American, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 159 pounds. She has a dark spot on her lower lip and pierced ears. She enjoys journaling and writing, crafts such as crochet, basketball, volleyball and reading.
Her parents suspect she misses school, which she has always enjoyed.
They believe that while on the run Jade may gravitate toward behaviors prohibited at home, such as going to night clubs, dating boys, dressing provocatively and dyeing her hair light brown.
Jade may also be using the aliases Lisa Cosby, Jade Jones, Eva, Peaches, Jade Danielle Richard, Jade D. Jones and Danielle Jones.