Date: August 2, 2017
Reporting officer: Sheriff Clay Chism
On July 30, 2017, the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office received reports of two runaway juveniles (acting in concert with each other) from the New Bloomfield area; identified as Rathan Newland (16) and Andria Blackwell (16). From the initial investigation, it was apparent the juveniles were of a “runaway” status and not kidnapped, etc. Over the past three days, deputies have taken law enforcement measures to locate the juveniles, standard with such investigations. Both juveniles were immediately entered into a nationwide law enforcement database to assist in their finding.
Deputies have followed-up on leads, as recently as this morning, regarding sightings of the juveniles on foot in various locations around New Bloomfield, Dixie, and Tebbetts. Deputies are continuing to search those areas. The reporting citizens have indicated the juveniles were obviously acting on their own free will and not being held captive, etc. Other law enforcement measures, which cannot be disclosed publicly, are being taken.
The Sheriff’s Office has received inquiries as to why an Amber Alert has not been issued. Such alerts are dictated by law, whereas, a runaway juvenile offense does not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert. Again, this is a matter of law, not choice. The Sheriff’s Office generally does not publicly provide details of runaway juvenile offenses without the express consent of the juveniles’ parents. Today, Sheriff’s Office administration has been in contact with the parents and they have expressed their approval of a media release being sent at this point in the investigation.
Attached to this release are images of the juveniles. If anyone has a sighting of the juveniles, they are asked to contact their local law enforcement agency immediately.
End of media release.