Palmetto police searching for missing girl, 14

February 28, 2014 

PALMETTO -- The Palmetto Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating a missing 14-year-old girl.

Isabel Mendez was reported missing Jan. 16, when she failed to return home from Palmetto High School.

"She has not contacted her family since then, although family and friends have seen her several times overs the past few weeks," police said in a news release. "She was seen at the Manatee County Fair at the end of January by family members, but ran away from them when they tried to approach her.

The girl is not believed to be in danger, and is believed to be staying with her boyfriend, 18-year-old Luis Sanchez.

Family members and police have questioned many of the girl's friends and acquaintances, but none claim to have information about her whereabouts, police said.

Anyone with information can call their local law enforcement agency or Palmetto police at 941-721-2000.

"Officers would like to remind the public that it can be a crime to knowingly harbor a juvenile that they know to be a run-away, without making any efforts to contact law enforcement or the juvenile’s family," the news release states.

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