Police search for missing teenager

A teenage girl has been dodging police for more than a month after she is believed to have run away from home.

The recent incident has seen police issue a warning to those assisting minors in running away, stating that they could face arrest if criminal intent is shown.

Rosche Wesso, 14, was last seen on April 15 leaving her aunt’s home, dressed in pajamas, in Windvogel.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that when she left the house, she was alone and did not indicate where she was going.

By April 17, Wesso’s mother reported her missing to the police.

“According to her mother, she has left home previously but this is the longest that she has gone without contacting anybody. She was seen several times during the month in the Kuyga area. One of the sightings was as recently as Sunday and it appears that she is evading police. In all the sighting’s it does not appear that she is under duress. It is believed that she may be living with friends in Jacksonville,” Naidu said.

“Currently, we suspect that she just left home and no foul play or abduction is suspected.”

This is the third case in a week where a minor left home.

In the two other cases, the teenager was later found at a friend or relatives house.

Asked what has been done to track down Wesso, Naidu said that detectives have been investigating for the past month.

“They have visited friends and families houses. Every time they get a tip-off on her location, they arrive and miss her by a few minutes.”

Naidu said recourses used in these cases include detectives, uniform officials and even in some cases search and rescue personnel and the helicopter.

“Police are concerned over the number of cases reported where teenagers are walking out of their homes. We are appealing to the community not to use their homes as a haven or hideout for these children. As responsible adults, the owner of such residence should contact the child’s parents alternatively the police or a social worker. Keeping these children out of school promotes an unhealthy and unstable environment for such young children. Police is also appealing to the community to report any suspicious or strange  activity in their  neighbourhoods. By not turning a blind eye or not looking the other way, you may be saving a life,” she said.

Naidu added that when runaway minors are located, social workers are also called in to intervene and assess the family environment.”

Naidu said that the person assisting the child shows criminal intent, they would be arrested. “There are various laws that come into play depending on the circumstances. This however is only known once the minor is found back,” she said.

Anyone who may know where Wesso is can contact Detective Warrant Office Brett Andrews on 071 475 1712.