Missing Portland girl's family complains of stalled search

Missing Portland girl's family complains of stalled search

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by KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on March 28, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 4 at 11:37 AM

PORTLAND -- A 14-year-old girl missing for more than a week is now considered "at risk," according to police, and her family is questioning whether police are doing enough to find her.

According to police, Yashanee Vaughn was initially reported as a runaway by her mother on March 21. A Portland Police Bureau spokesman said the girl was also a suspect in an assault.

Vaughn's mother, Shaquita Louis said she believes that police were not aggressively investigating because her daughter is an African American who has been in trouble with the law.

"They're making it like it's not serious and this is a serious matter," Louis complained.

Her family said that Vaughn had not used her cell phone or posted on her Facebook page since she was last seen waiting for a bus on NE 82nd Avenue in Portland.

"She's one of the those kids who is on Facebook until she falls asleep, " said Louis.

Vaughn's mother told KGW she filed a Missing Persons report on March 23.

Portland Police Lt. Kelli Sheffer said that fliers and information on the case were distributed internally immediately after Vaughn was reported missing.

Sheffer said it was initially determined that Vaughn had left on her own and there was no evidence to show she could not return home if she wished. Police say they intensified their investigation was intensified on March 29 when Vaughn was declared "at risk." Police did not release details of why they think Vaughn may be at risk.

"Every mother is going to grieve for a child they are worried about - it may not matter what we do, it's not going to take away the hurt that she doesn't know where her daughter is," Sheffer said.

Relatives set up a Facebook page to help get the word out.

Family friends said the most important thing is that Vaughn is found safe.

"It doesn't matter, children come up missing, they run away, but I believe it's the responsibility of the police to protect and serve the children, especially," Raina Casey said.

Slideshow: Photos of Yashanee Vaughn

Family members said she may spell her first name "Yashawnee."

Anyone with information about Vaughn's whereabouts should call Det. Arjay Dran at 503-823-1081.

KGW Reporter Anne Yeager contributed to this report

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