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January 12, 2003

Ft. Sask. teen is missing

From: Edmonton Sun, Canada - 12 Jan 2003

Mom pleads for her safe return


A Fort Saskatchewan woman is pleading for help to find her deaf 13-year-old daughter, missing since Wednesday.

"I'm worried someone might use her," said Rhonda Hunter. "She's very impressionable, very naive. I'm scared some pimp may pick her up or some creep might."

Jennifer Hunter was being treated for depression at Bosco Homes, east of Sherwood Park, when she went missing. Bosco Homes is a charitable, non-profit society dedicated to serving children, adolescents, adults and families who struggle with emotional, developmental and/or psychiatric disorders. The girl had been there since September.

Rhonda said her daughter is deaf and has a cochlear implant in her right ear.

"She doesn't communicate very well," she said, adding her daughter relies on sign language or paper and pen to speak with others.

"Right now, I'm just shaking."

Rhonda has been driving all over Strathcona County and Edmonton searching for Jennifer. RCMP have started a missing persons file.

Officials at Bosco Homes reported Jennifer missing as soon as she ran away Wednesday night, but there are no lights outside the rural facility which made searching difficult. "They were sending her to bed and she ran out the emergency exit," said Rhonda.

The night before, Jennifer had gone missing but was found after a three-hour search. Then, Rhonda received a phone call from the agency on Wednesday telling her Jennifer was missing again. "At first I wasn't too worried because they found her the night before," said Rhonda. "When I hadn't heard anything by 4 a.m., I started getting worried."

She drove to the site and found what she thought were her daughter's tracks and followed them to Range Road 213, where it seemed they doubled up.

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