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Police & Fire

MA City Has Missing-Girls Problem: 8 Teens Have Gone Missing Over 3 Months

Missing girls from the top going clockwise - Anayisalis Silvera, Crystal Badillo, Saray Ortiz, and Hayleigh Gonzalez
Missing girls from the top going clockwise - Anayisalis Silvera, Crystal Badillo, Saray Ortiz, and Hayleigh Gonzalez Photo Credit: Chicopee PD

Chicopee Police announced Monday they are searching for a missing 16-year-old. She is the 8th girl who has been reported missing to the city department over the last 3 months.

Police posted a missing child notice on Monday, Feb. 1, for Anayisalis Silvera, 16. Silvera is 5’4”, about 134 lbs., and has brown hair. She is believed to be in Springfield, police said.

Anyone with information about Silvera or her whereabouts is asked to contact the Chicopee Police at (413) 594-1740.

8 GONE

With Silvera missing, the number of runaway girls in Chicopee is up to 8 since November. Half of the missing girls have been found, but police are still seeking four others - including one girl who has been missing for months.

On Friday, Jan. 29, Chicopee Police reached out to the public for help finding Saray Ortiz, 16, who has been missing since Jan. 26. Saray is 5’1”, about 110 lbs., with brown eyes, and black, curly, shoulder-length hair. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a black fleece coat in the Chicopee Falls area heading toward Springfield, police said.

Police are also searching for:

Hayleigh Gonzalez, 14, who ran away on Tuesday, Jan. 5, was last seen in Springfield, police said, and;

Crystal Badillo, 15, ran away on Nov. 11, 2020, with an 11-year-old belonging to the same program for troubled teens. The 11-year-old has been located, Badillo has not. Badillo was last seen in the area of St. James Avenue in Springfield, police said.

Chicopee girls were also reported missing on Nov. 30, 2020, and Jan. 4 - three were eventually found. Police did not officially announce finding one of the missing girls, but she did appear to comment on her own missing notice on Facebook to assure people she was fine. Altogether, that's 4 out of 8 girls located. 

WHY RUN

There are four main reasons why children run away from home, according to the National Run Away Safeline. Among the most common are living with unstable family dynamics like divorce or change in parenting; abuse and neglect; their own struggles with mental health, peer issues like fights, bullying, or isolation.

If you see any of the missing girls or know anything about their whereabouts, contact Chicopee Police Detective Bureau at (413) 594-1740.

For people considering running away from home, the National Runaway SafeLine can offer services and guidance on how to best get out of a bad situation. The safe line is (800) RUNAWAY. 1800runaway.org/

In online chat groups for Chicopee residents, people have been wondering why it is that so many teenage girls are running away from the city. Residents are calling for an investigation into whether there are any similarities between the missing-girl cases. In particular, residents are wondering if the runaways are coming from nearby group homes or schools for troubled teens.

There are 17 Massachusetts-certified group homes in Chicopee and surrounding neighborhoods. Group homes can be established for the treatment of addiction, special needs living, schools for troubled teens, mental health care, and transitional housing, among other things. 

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