When you were 8 years old and decided to run away from home, it became a joke that your parents still bring up to this day. As a teenager, those thoughts may have become more real. Does a teen being a runaway make it any less necessary to look for them? They are still a child.
Most teens who run away from home do so because they feel they just can't talk to their parents. Additional reasons include problems at school, substance abuse (right back there to that communication problem! Parents, talk to your kids!), abuse, and pregnancy, just to hit on a few big ones. One can only imagine how running away from home solves any of these problems, but everyone was a teenager once. Every situation is the end of the world.
Few teens who run away stay gone for long, less than a week for about 50 percent of them. But there is that tiny 5 percent that are gone for 6 months or longer. That includes the ones that just never come back.
Is this the case with missing Colorado teen Antoinette Garrison? Did she feel communicating with her parents was a lost cause? Were there other factors that contributed to her disappearance, like her boyfriend ending their relationship or unbearably missing her friends in Virginia? Is she voluntarily missing?
Antoinette, aka Annie, disappeared from Fort Collins, Colorado on July 21. Her behavior before she disappeared was sketchy, but no media attention has been given to this case. Authorities believe the 16-year-old to be just another runaway. Even if that's true, she's still a missing child and her parents need to know where she is.
Her family believes her to be on the way to Virginia, her home state, but with whom? She left her car in the parking lot of her stepsister's apartment complex, after attempting to withdraw the contents of her savings account, which she couldn't do without parental consent. So, somewhere between the Rocky Mountain State and Virginia, there is a young girl, with no money and no transportation, just out walking around. Is she hitchhiking? Has she been abducted? Even if she did choose to run away, it's not exactly a safe world for petite, blond teenage girls. Why aren't the police doing something? While police ignore this situation, details become fewer and fewer and there's significantly less chance of finding her.
What becomes of these teenage runaways? Some stay with friends and return home soon. Some make it, like Liz Murray, but she's more the exception than the rule. Others end up in shelters or on the streets, with a far worse fate than home, forced into prostitution, dealing drugs, and other underworldly crimes, for the sole purpose of survival.
Most teenagers are not equipped with the knowledge to be on their own. They think they are, but really some adults still aren't. This world is a dangerous place, with predators lurking where you least expect them. Not saying that there is no good, there is lots and it's everywhere, too, but lately the evils of the world seem to be winning.