UPDATE: A critically missing teen last seen in downtown Dallas was found according to Dallas police. Her mother says she is back home. NBC 5 is removing her name and photo because she is a minor and no longer missing.
On Sunday, the girl's family gathered near her last known location hoping to glean any information about her disappearance.
The girl had not been seen since April 27. Her mother said every day that goes by without answers becomes more difficult. There’s one thought in particular that keeps her up at night.
“That she’s being held against her own will. She wants to come, and she can’t come home,” her mother said.
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The 15-year-old was last seen on foot on the 1800 block of Commerce Street. Dallas police classified her as a “critically missing” person, but her mother said that didn’t happen until several days following her daughter’s disappearance.
“What other reasons make it critical now when it should’ve already been critical?” she wondered.
“As a mother, I’m supposed to protect my child. And it hurts me because it’s nothing that I can do,” her mom said. “And I know my baby is trying to get home. I know she is. And it just hurts me that I can’t be there to get my baby.”
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Other family members and community activists don’t believe her case was taken seriously from the beginning.
“The next rally that we’re having, we’re going to have one out here every week searching for this baby until we find this baby. We need more help,” said Shavondra Smith, a Dallas activist.
For a mother desperate to find her daughter, she wants her to know she’s not forgotten.
“I want you to know that we are coming and we’re going to find you. We’re coming and you do whatever you have to do to get home,” her mother said.