Two teenage girls who reportedly escaped from an Arizona nursing home have been found dead in a body of water in the state, local officials said.
The remains of 15-year-old Kamryn Meyers and 17-year-old Sitlalla Avelar were found over the weekend when a man walking his dog called authorities after seeing what he thought was a mannequin in a storage reservoir in Mesa, east of Phoenix. local police said in a statement.
The bodies were recovered by police around 6 p.m. on January 21 after the teens went missing on January 7 after leaving Powerhouse Youth Facility Inc, a group home for troubled teens, not far from where their bodies were located.
The condition of the wreckage indicated that it had been in the water for an extended period of time, the WAFB said.
Mesa Police said a medical examiner would determine the cause of death. It’s not clear if foul play is a factor.
said Brad Miller, attorney at Powerhouse Youth Facility Inc AZ family that Kamryn and Sitlalli left the group houses early and were heard talking about leaving Powerhouse on January 6.
He added that staff tried to persuade them to stay, but they left the next day, after which they were reported missing.
Mr. Miller told the local facility that staff followed procedures in notifying local police and the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS). The staff met with the police again on January 10. Mr. Miller noted that the facility is licensed by the state and cannot legally compel anyone to stay.
said local resident Cathy Catalfo AZ family that “there is so much life ahead of them – they have so many opportunities, development and learning”.
“It’s disappointing, you expect more,” she added.
Others living in the area said the group home was once a nursing home.
Ms Catalfo noted that there had been an increase in police activity in relation to the house recently.
“There has been a lot of traffic in general, a lot of policemen have come in the last few weeks,” she told a local outlet. “I think the first thing that comes to mind is who made you leave? What made you leave the safe environment?”
Les Nemeth told ABC15 that the pool is near where he usually plays golf.
“It’s really sad. People have no respect or value for life anymore,” he told a local TV station, adding that the deaths of the teenagers had shocked the neighborhood.
“Things like this happen everywhere, but I mean you don’t think it’s going to happen here,” he said.
Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Mesa Police at (480) 644-2211.