Destiny Rose is a 16-year-old teen from Broward County, Florida who went missing on August 20. She at Alpha Group Home, a therapeutic group home, in the town of Southwest Ranches.
According to their website, Alpha Group Home “specializes in treating adolescent and teenage girls who have experienced trauma or have suffered severe behavioral and emotional disturbances.” The facility can “accommodate up to 8 adolescent girls between the ages of 12 and 17 in each home.”
According to WSVN News Miami, Destiny’s aunt, Shanna Champion, received a video call via Instagram from Destiny’s account. When she answered the call, she was shocked to see a man on the phone.
What happened next is straight out of a horror movie. The man then moved the camera to show Rose crying while tied to a chair with a rope wrapped around her neck. Davie Police detectives say the man told Shanna “If you actually cared about her, you would be here to get her” before ending the call.
According to authorities, Destiny is approximately 5’1″ and 146 pounds. She has blonde hair and green eyes and was last seen wearing a white shirt, black jacket, red pants, and a pink and black beanie. She also has a hearing aid in one of her ears.
The Davie Police are asking people in the area with any information on Rose’s whereabouts to contact them at 954-693-8200 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Was Initially Reported as a Runaway
The Davie Police have described Destiny as a “habitual runaway” who has gone missing several times before. They suspected that she had run away again until the aunt received the ominous phone call. The search for Destiny has since intensified.
2. The Police Have a Description of the Man
According to a description given to Davie Police by Shanna Champion, the man suspected of kidnapping Destiny is described as a hispanic man “being in his late 20s to early 30s, with a crew cut and a short patch of facial hair on his chin.”
3. The Davie Police Department Is Using Social Media to Try and Find Her
Davie Police Department shared multiple news stories on social media, tweeting, “Do you recognize this girl? If anyone knows her whereabouts or has any information about her please call Davie Police at 954-693-8200 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.”
They have also been retweeting news stories from local outlets on Destiny and are encouraging anybody who has information at all to contact them immediately.
4. Her Story Is Attracting National Attention
After the news broke regarding the Instagram video, news outlets across Florida started writing articles about Rose and sharing her story to social media in hopes that somebody would have seen her.
The efforts have spread to news organizations in New York including New York Daily News as well as national news outlets such as HLN who covered Destiny’s disappearance on their show.
5. Children from Group Homes Are Much Less Likely to Be Found
Since 2000, federal records show child welfare agencies across the country closed the cases of more than 53,000 foster kids listed as “runaway” and at least another 61,000 children listed as “missing.”
Many states close missing child cases for foster children within a few months. According to an investigation done by Boston 25 News, “Many states have policies for what to do when a missing foster child returns to state care, but a vast number don’t specifically address what steps to take when a child remains missing”
There is a Federal law in place that requires all states to report missing foster kids to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, D.C. Although that does not always occur unless the case gets widespread attention.
“There are agencies out there that have been known to close these cases and then, therefore, no one’s looking,” said Bob Lowery, vice president of the center’s missing children’s division, told Boston 25 News.
Foster kids regularly run away from group homes and can fall victim to kidnapping, prostitution, or human trafficking without anybody coming to look for them.
Hopefully, with the added attention and resources being utilized to find Destiny Rose, police will be able to locate her and keep her safe.