National News

Teen missing since May 20th could become criminal investigation

Posted June 5, 2018 2:29 p.m. EDT

— An Arenac County teenager has been missing for two weeks, and mystery surrounds her whereabouts.

Police don't believe Kaitlyn Leonard is in danger, but investigators say criminal charges are possible in the case of the missing 15-year-old girl.

Katelyn Leonard left her Arenac County home in the middle of the night on May 20 with just a backpack and without her cell phone. The Arenac County Sheriff's Department is trying to find the Standish-Sterling High School student.

"It's all over Facebook," said Kristina Kraska, who was doing laundry at a Standish laundromat that is displaying a flyer with Leonard on a bulletin board. "There are flyers all over."

Arenac County Undersheriff Don McIntyre said investigators are treating the case as a worst-case scenario and leaving no stone unturned to find her.

"The public sees the case, they see two weeks outstanding that this 15-year-old girl has been missing," he said. "They don't know we investigate hundreds of tips. Our phones are ringing off the hook."

Based on the tips police have received so far, McIntyre believes Leonard is not in danger.

"At this point, we don't believe that this is a human trafficking case," he said. "We believe it is a runaway situation and it's being handled as such."

But police want to find her and find the person who may have driven her away from the family home. Criminal charges are possible in the case.

Leonard's mother has been updating the status of the investigation on a Facebook page, but did not want to comment.

"I can't even imagine going through that," said Katie Kraska, who was at the laundromat with her mother. "I would be worried sick."

The Kraskas have been watching social media to get updates on Leonard's possible whereabouts. If this is truly a runaway situation, Kraska says its odd that little information has come out about where she might be.

"Usually, you would hear something by now," Kristina Kraska said.

Anyone who knows where Kaitlyn Leonard is should their local police department.