Friday, April 19, 2013
Little Elm police search for missing teen
It is the second time in two weeks that J'Teria Bell has run away from what she alleges is an abusive home.
LITTLE ELM The Little Elm Police Department is once again seeking information on a missing 15-year-old Little Elm teen, who was last seen Monday afternoon in Carrollton. This is the second time the teen has gone missing in the past two weeks.
“She is not home and she is currently listed as a runaway again as we speak,” LEPD Cpt. Rodney Harrison said on Wednesday.
The department is searching for J’Teria Bell, a black female who is 5 feet 3 inches tall and wears eyeglasses. Bell was initially reported missing at 8:30 a.m. April 9 after her mother dropped her off at Little Elm High School where Bell is a freshman. Security cameras in the school showed Bell walking through the school and leaving the campus.
Harrison said Bell was disciplined by her mother on the night of April 8 in reference to some issues occurring in the home. Her computer and cell phone were taken away by her mother and stepfather as part of their discipline, which hindered police in tracking her down.
Officers had researched her computer and phone records, but nothing indicated that Bell was planning on running away, Harrison added.
Bell was found April 12 after contacting her grandmother, Stephanie Clark, who lives in Carrollton. Clark said Bell called her from a Greyhound bus station in downtown Dallas, and she met Bell at the Carrollton bus station, where she then took the teen to the Carrollton Police Department.
Harrison said Carrollton police notified LEPD detectives that they had a person at the station saying she was a runaway. He said the department sent over investigators to talk to Bell around 5 p.m. April 12; at the time, she was healthy and was interviewed by Child Protective Services. It is believed she left home because of a family dispute.
Clark said her daughter and Bell’s mother, Sydney Mason, had called her April 9 saying Bell was missing. Mason could not be reached for comment.
Clark said Bell was released into her custody by the Denton County Juvenile Detention Center on April 12 because of allegations of abuse in Bell’s home. She added that she has had Bell’s older brother in her custody since last year because of the abuse she alleges is occurring in the home. There are five other children in Bell’s home.
“J’Teria has never been a rebellious teenager,” Clark said. “All weekend she was just scared, just crying.”
Bell stayed with Clark over the weekend. Clark said Bell told her she had been sleeping in parks while she was missing. She said that on Monday, CPS told Mason that she could pick up Bell from Clark’s home. She added that Mason called Bell and told her she was coming.
“She heard her mom was coming and said, ‘I’m not going to come back into that abusive home,’” Clark said.
That was at 3:30 p.m. Monday and was the last Clark saw Bell.
“I have no idea where she is,” Clark said.
Bell has family in Carrollton and The Colony. Those who have any information about Bell should contact the LEPD immediately at 214-975-0460.
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