Missing Girls Used Their Pillows as Decoys Before Fleeing Foster Home in Florida

By Andrew Simontacchi, Epoch Times
April 29, 2016 Updated: April 29, 2016

It’s a scene straight from a 1990s runaway film.

Authorities say four young girls placed pillows under their sheets to dupe foster care officials before slipping out of a window and topping a 6-foot fence to flee a foster home near Tampa, Fla.

In a news conference outside the ‘A Kids Place’ facility, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Colonel Donna Lusczynski said the girls—13-year-old Ashlyn Smith, 11-year-old Heavenlynn Gonzalez, 10-year-old Anabella Gonzalez, and 4-year-old Allison Nelson—were reported missing after a bed-check just before midnight, and were last seen at 10 p.m. on April 28.

Nelson and the Gonzalez siblings are sisters who have been at the home for just under 2 months; Smith has been there since February.

Police say two of the girls had voiced a plan to run away. Police are planning to exercise search warrants on the facility’s computers to see if the girls contacted anyone about their plans.

Lusczynski said authorities went door-to-door to find the missing girls. They also checked every registered sex-offender’s home within two miles of the facility.

The reason the girls were living at the home are private.

“They are young kids and we don’t want them out on the streets by themselves,” Lusczynski said via the sheriff’s office official Twitter account. 

She urged residents to be on the lookout and to call 813-247-8200 if they have any information.