It’s the kind of news that strikes fear in the hearts of parents. A 13-year-old girl named Eliana Perkins disappeared on her way back from school on Friday, Jan. 16. She was last seen getting into the car of a man in his 30s driving on Martin Luther King Way S.
Of course, that raised fears of abduction or worse. Seattle Police Department Chief Kathleen O’Toole asked for daily updates on the missing person case, according to SPD spokesperson Sean Whitcomb. A flurry of news stories in the ensuing week carried SPD’s request for the public’s help in finding Perkins.
Yesterday, police confirmed that the girl was back home, but released no details about where she was or what happened to her.
Talking with Seattle Weekly today, Whitcomb explains that he can’t say much because Perkins is a juvenile. He will say, however, that detectives have concluded that the teen was not abducted, but rather had run away from home.
While missing, Perkins was spotted on various buses and hanging out with friends, according to Whitcomb. Eventually, he says, it was her decision to return home.
Perkins apparently has run into trouble before. According to a King 5 report, she was attending a re-entry program at South Lake High School for students who had been suspended for behavior issues.
Given that and her running away, she’s obviously still facing some problems. But at least we know we don’t have a terrifying case of teen abduction on our hands.