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Missing teen considered runaway

WILMINGTON -- A missing person is now considered a runaway. Seventeen-year-old Ashley Marie Ryan was last seen going into a movie at the cinema at Mayfaire on New Year's Eve. Her family had feared that she had been abducted. However, yesterday they told Wilmington Police that there had been a confirmed sighting of Ashley in Kissimmee, FL. Police there are now involved in what is believed to be a runaway case and not an abduction.

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Why judge another?

I have been reading these posts with awe, thankfulness, pity for the ignorant and some distain. Hurrah!!! to those of you who are willing to give the benefit of doubt to this "child". She may have run away, if so, I sincerely hope that she comes to her senses and contacts someone she trusts AND SOON. Wilmman, you seem so sure she ran, did you yourself assist her with getting on a bus or plane? It is still possible that she may not have gone anywhere willingly, in which case we should be praying for her safety and quick resolution to this case and begging people for information, rather than passing judgement on her. Unfortunately I have seen too many terrible outcomes of both, I volunteered at several centers in NYC and FLA., where many of these kids end up with no money, no where to go, they become the underworld of society, thousands upon thousands of them. Does anyone not remember when the arcade and boardwalk area of Carolina Beach (before the "clean-up era of the mid 90's) was the seasonal "pit stop" between the Northeast and Florida for these displaced children? I met many of them during my forays to the area, some I was able to help, some were so distrustful of anyone they just disappeared. While the majority of the "children" there & in the charity homes were runaways, many had no reason to trust any of the adults in their lives, some had mental issues that caused them to make rash decisions, some left becasue of shame felt on their part, some, admittedly, were selfishly running, thinking things would be better for them wherever they went. And still there are others who fell under the spell of someone who promised them love and fun and relief from petty problems that seem insurmountable to teens, but not being mature enough to consider where they were going, who they were going with or what could happen to them. All I can say is that NO STORY I witnessed or CHILD I ever met had an easy time of it, some of their stories are downright horrific. They fall prey to the creatures that we call fellow human beings, often forced into depraved behaviour just for survival, and humilation and self-loathing becomes what prevents them from trying to return home, if they have a safe home to go to. Let's all let these shildren know there are alternatives, we have tv ads for everything from toilet paper to useless scams on late-night channels. Kids watch late night tv, why not public service announcements to tell them where to get help and advice, with people on the other end listening and kind and with helpful resources instead of disinterested, overworked or callousness. There is too much red tape and fear involved in a childs asking for help, lets use our words and emotions to find ways to make it easier. One last word.... to her friends.... do not think that you are helping her by keeping silent if you know any of her plans, "unapproved friends" or her problems. Contact law enforcement, a teacher or even me at, tell us your fears, suspicions and info., tell someone!!! Even if she did leave of her own free will, she is still in danger. PLEASE.

Fallon Elkins

Thank you for your kind words. It is true that all runaways have either horrible homelives or that they are made to believe that they can escape rules and regulations at home if they leave by someone they think "loves" them. This is the case with Fallon. She followed these people around and they convinced her we had no right to tell her who she could be friends with and whom she could date. The mother of one of her friends even told us we were too hard on her and deserved what we got with her being gone. We are not hard on her. We expect her to act like a decent child, no drinking, no drugs....come home on time. All the normal rules. People prey on kids like Fallon. They are victims in their own right and we need to protect them.

RE: Why judge another

Your words are very thoughtful and kind. Thank you for posting. I have been reading these comments made and am in awe at how some people can be so callous and jaded. I thank the Lord for people like you who can open their hearts and minds to help others. Keep doing what you're doing. Maybe Ashley will see your message and realize there are people here that can help. Her friends and family want her home. We miss you Ashley. Come home.


I am glad the the police and many others don't use your definition of "petty things". Why don't you spend some time and get the entire story before you decide to submit your hurtfull and "petty" comments in a public venue.

By her actions she has cost

By her actions she has cost everyone a lot of time and money. She needs to be held responsible for her actions.

who care's if she has costed money - just find her

Get real! For what ever reason this young girl is missing. She needs to be found. My prayers are with this family and this young girl.

She obviously doesn't want

She obviously doesn't want to be found. She is probably off doing what she wants and has no regards for anyone else. She does need to be found, but I don't think our tax dollars should be used and wasted.


I usually don't respond to people like this. I figure that they aren't happy with their life so they feel the need to comment on others. WilmMan, what is wrong with you. You know so little about this situation but you feel the need to put your 2 cents in. Your comments do not help. I am sure that the family is thankful for all the hope and prayers offered. The assistance from the police and everyone else has been incredible. WilmMan, this is my 2 cents, let hope, that if you ever need assistance, a bill isn't attached to it.

Oh please.... why don't you

Oh please.... why don't you stop defending someone that cost us money, the family heartache, and the community to feel sorry her? I have no doubts there is something going on in her life, but running away is not the answer. Even if she did have to leave, she should have said something to someone. She is irresponsible and her actions are her own...she does need to be held responsible for what she did. I'm not saying she needs to pay back the community, but she needs to know that she cannot do what she did. She actually broke the law by running away. If she left with someone else who is over the age of 18 that person is guilty of a FELONY and that person needs to be prosecuted to the fullest...actually, that would be a federal offense since the crossed the state line.

whats wrong with you? what

whats wrong with you? what if she's never found? wiII you care? all you are doing is showing you care only about being right and making her feel guilty, and neither will help bring her home. none of your comments show any real compassion toward the family (only as a means to attack a 17-year-old who youve never met) and i hope she doesnt read these because of you.

She ran away, she wasn't

She ran away, she wasn't abducted. Sure she needs to be found, and if something does happen to her it would be a trajedy. But, this situation is different than what was initially reported. Being taken against your will is always worse than leaving on your own. Take that girl from Laney. Everyone said she was taken against her will at school when in fact she left on her own with this guy. The only crime he committed was Contributing to the Del. of a Minor. Obviously there are issues at home that need to be taken care off. And this is a bad situation, but not nearly has bad if she was abducted.

Words of wisdom

Again WilmMan your pearls of wisdom astound me. One of these days you will actually read the entire news story and hopefully get all the facts before you put your foot in your mouth. Please re-read the news articles. I did not see where they suspected that she was abducted. They said she was missing. It would be much easier for you to pray that Ashley is safe than it has been for you to justify your crass and uncaring statements.

What ever

You are right, the article said missing. And I'm sure just about everyone on here and in our community did not think she just ran away when the article said missing. If they really thought she just ran away the article would have stated so. They didn't want to say she was abducted because they had no proof, but that is what almost everyone was thinking. The fact is, she ran away and cost a lot of people time, money and resources that could have been better utilized

Please Come Home

To Ashley and those of us that care about her - please just come home. Regardless of what happened, and none of us know exactly what that is yet, there's nothing that can't be worked out with the support of your friends and family. I am worried about you, I care about you and want to see you safe and happy.

Ahsley... Wilminington Teen Runaway

I agree, the girl has cost time and money to the public not to mention the concern involved. But... I'd like to give her the opportunity to tell why she ranaway to begin with. It has been my experience that often times, teens feel forced to take drastic measures. Perhaps she had no "real reason" and ought to be punished, but perhaps she had a very good reason for leaving home? Let's not judge too quickly here, okay.

Shame on you Ashley!!!

Shame on you Ashley!!! I hope when Ashley returns she will log on and see the concern that people in the area has had for her and her family. What a shame a girl would cause her family to stress and worry about her. If life was bad at home she could have picked up the phone and called someone to let them know she was alright. I feel that she should have to pay a fine to the law enforcement agency for all the searching they have been doing. It just seems like she does not even care. I really feel bad for the family.

You don't know the full

You don't know the full story and know nothing about the girl herself. Please, stop running off at the mouth and jumping to conclusions you have no right to make. People today seem to believe themselves experts on all subjects, and that they must comment on everything.


I would like to bet that Myspace had a role in this.

Consider that a bet you have

Consider that a bet you have lost, because..Congratulations, you are WRONG.

Consider that a bet you have

How do you know that MySpace had no roll in this??????????? How can you be that certain?? Have you heard from Ashley??? Please, I don't know who you are but please, if you have heard from her, please let us know!!

Consider that a bet you have

Might wanna have someone call the TV3 and find out who LT is....that was a pretty blatant declaration there. ' are WRONG'.....just how could one be so certain of one's self? Ashley, if you're anywhere near by and happen to be reading, lots of folks here at home are concerned for your safety and well-being. You and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you and keep you safe. Pam and family - I'm a near-by neighbor. Please do not hesitate to reply back if you need anything at all!

I agree

Yeah, Mike & Julie - find out who LT is - he/she seems to know "something".