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Posted under: News

Missing 14-Year-Old San Francisco Girl Found Safe By Landscape Worker

Her father said he found a note from his daughter suggesting she may have been depressed from isolation caused by the pandemic.

Update (March 5, 2020): Jason Gallaread, the father of a 14-year-old girl who was reported missing from her San Francisco home last month, announced that his daughter was located on Feb. 26 by an observant landscape worker in Pittsburg, California. 

Police officials said Katlin Gallaread left her home at some point on the evening of Feb. 16 without telling her family, according to local Fox affiliate KTVU. Last week, police said they had discovered new information that Katlin was likely accompanied by 16-year-old Tyler Sexton, a runaway from Monroe, Michigan. 

A landscaper working for the city of Pittsburg recognized the girl from TV and reported them to the police. Both of the teenagers were found in good health and were not victims of any crimes. KTVU reported that the teens were seen in Sacramento.

According to San Francisco-based media publication SFist, the girl’s father said that her motivation for running away was so that she could “solve her problems.”

As Blavity previously reported, the father revealed that he was alerted to bank records indicating money was withdrawn from Katlin’s account two hours after she went missing. 

By Saturday, Jason discovered two more ATM withdrawals from her account. The transactions over the weekend happened at a bank in West Sacramento and depleted the girl’s account of her allowance. Police have not announced whether surveillance videos can identify who was withdrawing the cash.

The California father also said he found a note from his daughter that suggests she may have been depressed because of isolation caused by COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing

"She can't see her friends. There's no going outside, the social interaction. Everybody's not the same," Joyceline Tobias, Katlin's grandmother, said.

Jason confirmed that his daughter was located by Pittsburg police around 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26. He publicly thanked all of the people who were concerned about his daughter’s safety and supported him through the difficult ordeal. 

"I'm overwhelmed with excitement that she’s been found safe. I hope through counseling, we will be able to rebuild trust and communicate better with each other. I pray for the families of other missing children that they be reunited soon," Gallaread told KTVU.

Following the incident, Jason pledged to advocate for the advancement of missing children policies, the SFist reported. 

Original (February 25, 2020): Jason Gallaread, the father of a missing 14-year-old girl from San Francisco, California, says bank records show that money was withdrawn from his daughter's account after her disappearance.

The transaction showed up about two hours after Katlin Gallaread went missing from her home on the night of Feb. 16, KTVU reported. Adding to the cause for concern, Jason noticed that the cash withdrawal was made at an ATM in San Francisco's Chinatown, an area that isn't familiar for Katlin.

On Saturday, there were two more ATM  withdrawals. Both transactions occurred at a bank in West Sacramento, emptying the account of money Katlin earned from doing chores. Police didn't confirm whether surveillance videos revealed who was withdrawing the cash.

Earlier on the evening of Feb. 16, Jason and his daughter had dinner together at home. But the single father didn't see his child after she went to her room. Relatives joined the anxious father later that night and searched throughout the park in the neighborhood. 

"I'm hoping she didn't get tricked into something, that someone has her drugged up somewhere and forcing her to do things. I'm very scared for her right now," Jason told KTVU. "I'm very sad; heartbroken. I'm very concerned for my daughter. The streets are very tough. There's a lot of sick individuals out here." 

The California man also said he found a note from Katlin, which indicates that the teen may have been depressed because of isolation caused by COVID-19 restrictions. 

"She can't see her friends. There's no going outside, the social interaction. Everybody's not the same," Joyceline Tobias, Katlin's grandmother, said. 

The family has also reviewed Ring video from a neighbor, which shows the girl leaving her home on Feb. 16 at 9:44 p.m. Jason added that he has tried to contact the teen on her cell phone, but the calls go to voicemail.

Police have declined to provide details about Kaitlin's phone records.

"We're not speaking to the activities of cellphone as well as the usage of any credit cards or debit cards. Again, we're looking into every lead," said Officer Robert Rueca with the San Francisco Police Department.  

According to her family, the Wallenberg High School freshman loves science, collects rocks and plays the cello. Katlin, who is half Cambodian, visited the Southeast Asian nation with her father before the pandemic. She also loves to travel to other countries. 

"Please contact somebody. Let us know you're OK and that you're safe. We want you home. I love you, baby," the father said in a message to his daughter, who’s described as 5-foot-1 and 90 pounds.

According to NBC Bay Area, police said Kaitlin often visited the Safeway store in the 1300 block of Webster Street, the Target store in the 2600 block of Geary Boulevard and the Japantown area. Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD 24-hour tip line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.

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