CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – The U.S. Marshals Service has joined the search for a missing teenager from Chesapeake, Virginia, who may be in the New York City area.
Destiny Ayala-Patterson, 16, was reported missing by her family on March 28. She was last seen with a man in a sedan leaving Indian River High School around 3:10 p.m. that day, according to Chesapeake Public Schools. Chesapeake detectives tracked that man down but did not find the teen with him.
Officials believe that Ayala-Patterson may be in either New York City or Trenton, New Jersey.
U.S. Marshals offered to assist the Chesapeake Police Department in their investigation. A deputy with the Marshals met with CPD officers on Monday and will provide them with “additional manpower and other specialized services” as needed, said CPD Master Police Officer Leo Kosinski.
Ayala-Patterson is one of 435 kids who have been reported missing in Virginia as of April 1, according to data provided by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Chesapeake police do not believe Ayala-Patterson is endangered, but are actively pursuing every lead to find her.
Mark Eggeman, a search and rescue operations officer at VDEM, said 95% of missing kids in Virginia are just like Ayala-Patterson. They are classified as “juvenile reports.” That means authorities believe they likely ran away, and that they aren’t endangered and weren’t abducted.
Ayala-Patterson is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds and has dark hair, police said. She was last seen wearing a green and tan blouse and blue jeans.
Anyone with information about the teen’s whereabouts should contact the Chesapeake Police Department or the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.