Crime Trackers

Apr 16, 2014 9:40 PM by Lupita Murillo

Tucson teenager now listed on "National Center for Missing and Exploited Children" website

TUCSON - A Tucson teenager who is a "star" student at Pistor Middle School is now being considered a runaway.

Pima County Sheriff's department detectives say, 14-year-old Esperanza Casillas has now changed her appearance. They have surveillance camera footage from a hair salon near Cardinal and Valencia showing her getting her hair cut off. They say she broke her glasses and is not wearing them.

She went missing on Tuesday, school officials say her family was notified through an automated system at 11:00 a.m., after she had not shown up for class.

Esperanza's name has just been entered into the database, for the "National Center for Missing and Exploited Children."

Sgt. Gerard Moretz says her absence was unexplained and unexpected.

A family member saw her in the parking lot of the hair salon and almost didn't recognize her with the short hair and without her glasses.

The woman who cut her hair declined to go an on camera, but did tell News 4 Tucson the teenager didn't appear nervous.

Sgt. Moretz says, "There's more purpose behind what she's doing and it's more a willful act of running away versus some sort of foul play situation." That's one of reasons detectives are actively looking for the 8th grader. "Kids have different reasons for running, and sometimes it's not evident to the people who are immediately around the child what may be of concern or what's causing stress in their life."

The sheriff's department is asking the publics help in locating the teenager. If you have information call 9-1-1 OR 88-CRIME.

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