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Searching For Runaways

By: Lauri Martin
By: Lauri Martin

It's an alarming statistic… Colorado Springs Police say there were nearly 1,200 reported runaways last year. And they tell parents, if you don't think you're kid is at risk, think again. Runaways happen all the time. “All socio-economic backgrounds have problems and issues with running away,” Sergeant Tim Stankey with the Springs Police said.

However, there’s not a whole lot police can do; running away isn’t against the law. But, there is a bill up for senate debate that could change how the cops deal with runaways. It would require the police to take runaways into temporary custody if the parents have filed a report.

That bill could help one local woman who's searching for her 15-year-old. Jessica Schwab has been passing out about 300 fliers around town for the past two weeks. She’s desperately looking for her 15-year-old daugher, Nicole Jennings, who ran away. “It’s very emotionally draining, I can't sleep at night, I worry about her getting pregnant or something worse happening to her."

That's where places like Urban Peak come to the rescue. They provide a safe haven for homeless and runaway youth. The executive director, John McIlwee said, “We provide case management, jobs, and we have a transitional housing program here." Currently, there are 15 young adults taking staying at Urban Peak.

It’s the kind of place Schwab hopes her daughter will use as a place to stay. In the meantime, she continues to search for her Nicole and she’ll do whatever it takes to bring her home again.


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