An 11-year-old girl has been found safe after leaving her house with a friend she met on the social media app Tik Tok.
Lakeriya McNeil was reported missing from her house in Whitehaven, Tennessee, around 11 a.m. Saturday, reported WREG. Memphis Police said she left her house with a girl she met through the app, along with a man and woman. The police department issued a city watch alert.
Her mother was not able to get in contact with her. Investigators suspected a Black male with a blonde twist in his hair was among the three people McNeil was with.
She was found safe and unharmed after being missing for two days, reports WBIR. She has returned home to her parents.No information has yet to be released regarding why she left, or with who exactly.
In the past few months, we've seen several devastating stories surrounding missing toddler-aged Black girls.
In October, 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney was kidnapped from a birthday party in Birmingham, Alabama. After an intense 10-day search, McKinney’s remains were found in a dumpster.
Taylor Rose Williams, 5, was also reported missing from her home in Jacksonville last month. About two weeks later, her remains were found in her mother’s hometown in Alabama.
According to CNN, Black children go missing at a higher rate than white children. Missing Black children also tend to receive less media coverage. In 2018, 37% of all missing children were Black, although they only make up 14% of all children in the United States."I think there's a false belief that white children make up the biggest number of missing children when in fact (proportionally) it's just the opposite," said Robert Lowery, vice president of the missing children division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Lowery also said the high number of reported missing Black girls is concerning. Missing Black people often get labeled as runaways, says ABC.