Levelland Police Need Help Finding Missing 16 Year Old

Levelland police are looking for 16 year old Desiree Yates who disappeared January 9th.

By: Meredith Hillgartner

LUBBOCK,TX- Levelland police chief Toney Cowan is asking the public for their help finding a missing 16 year old girl.

“We need some help with this,” Cowan said. “We are asking the public to sort of be our eyes out there.”

Desiree Yates was last seen January 9th around 3:30 in the afternoon in her school Cactus Academic Center in central Levelland.

 “She went out to get on the school bus and she took off running,” Cowan said.

Yates was not reported missing until the next morning after a teacher’s aide at her school approached a police officer asking if Yates as found yet.

“We did not get a call from the school district, nor did we get a call from Children’s Hope,” Cowan said.

Police said Yates had been living at the Children’s Hope home in Levelland.

Cowan said no one reported her missing because both the school and the children’s home thought the other had already told police.

And now no one can find her.

“We went to several locations in Levelland where we thought that she might be,” Cowan said. “We have not had any luck locating her.”

An item belonging to Yates was found in the school’s art room the day after she went missing, along with a paper plate that said “I’m in the school. Find me.”

Cowan said the school was thoroughly searched—checking ceilings, roofs and closets.

But the police chief said he thinks she left town.  

“Our understanding is that she has some family in Odessa,” Cowan said. “
We think she might be headed back that a way.”

Now almost a week after her disappearance Cowan said the school, children’s home and town just want to make sure Yates is OK.

“You know we are getting on five or six days out here that this child has been missing,” Cowan said. “We need help. We know we need to find her.”

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