Mom seeks answers after daughter runs away from state facility
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A mom is demanding answers after her 14-year-old daughter ran away from a residential treatment center two weeks ago.
Iyonna Burrell said her daughter, A’Kiera, 14, has a history of running away and that’s why she lost custody of her. But after A’Kiera successfully ran away from the Crittenton Children’s Center in Kansas City, Mo., Burrell said the state has failed to to its job.
“She was in state custody because the state took her from me because of her runaway risks and said that they could protect her better than I could,” Burrell said.
Burrell said her daughter ran away from Crittenton on Nov. 26 with another girl and Burrell wasn’t notified until the following day.
“Crittendon failed to let me know until November 27th, 10 o’clock in the morning, which happened to be an hour before our family therapy meeting, and I do believe if we wouldn’t have had that family therapy that wouldn’t have told me at all,” Burrell said.
State Representative Brandon Ellington said he’s having trouble getting answers too.
“As far as disappearing from a state facility, it raises all kinds of questions when we talk about supervision and what is actually happening at these types of facilities,” Ellington said.
Crittetton is operated by the St. Luke’s Health System. In a statement they said in part:
Anytime a child is missing it is a concern for everyone in the community; and we certainly understand this mother`s worry for her daughter. All of us are hoping for her safe return.
As a behavioral health facility for minors, we are prohibited by law from confirming or refuting the participation of any patient in our program, so we cannot comment directly on this situation.
What we can say, however, is the safety and security of every child in our facility is our number one priority.
Burrell said staff at Crittenton have not told her anything about her daughter’s escape and claim they have no footage of her daughter leaving despite numerous signs stating “all activities are monitored by video camera.”
“It’s supposed to be a secure, locked facility,” Burrell said. “It’s supposed to be a complete lockdown.”
But Burrell says it’s information about her daughter that seems to be on lockdown.
“They just told me they don’t have video footage, no paperwork, no nothing,” she said. “It’s like my daughter don’t exist.”
Kansas City police said A’Kiera is in a national database for missing and endangered children. Officers have checked a few addresses but have had no luck locating the missing girl.
Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816.474.TIPS.
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