An Ahwatukee Foothills family needs help finding their missing 15-year-old daughter, who ran away on Jan. 9.
McKayla McCormick is about 5 feet, 5 inches and weighs 117 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown shoulder-length hair, which she has been known to dye or change. She has a birthmark on her stomach above her navel and her ears are pierced. She ran away during the night on Jan. 9 and has not been seen since.
McKayla is considered an endangered runaway because her family believes she is in the company of a 20-year-old man.
Her family has been canvassing the Waddell, Peoria and Glendale areas.
“The 20-year-old that we believe she is in company with that prompted this runaway frequents those areas,” said Ann Ames, McKayla’s grandmother. “His family lives in that area.”
The man the family believes is involved is 20-year-old Matthew Schlemmer. He is described as 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds. He has a slim build with brown buzzed hair and blue eyes. Schlemmer has claimed he knows nothing about McKayla’s whereabouts and said he is cooperating with police.
Ames said the family found Schlemmer alone with McKayla two days before she disappeared, and his is the last number McKayla called on her cell phone. McKayla was also in contact with Schlemmer and another woman for weeks before she disappeared.
Ames was sharing a room with McKayla the night she ran away. McKayla somehow left the room during the short period that Ames fell asleep.
“I do believe this man was involved in her leaving the home,” Ames said. “I believe he is providing her with transportation. I wholeheartedly believe he is involved in the disappearance of this child due to the fact that he was caught in the house with a 15-year-old. That’s what prompted all of this.”
The family has run into dead ends. They’ve attempted to get security footage from local malls she may have been at or copies of her text messages but cannot access these things without police help. They’re now depending on canvassing areas McKayla may be in.
Officer James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department said Phoenix police are actively trying to locate the girl.
McKayla’s family is also working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“We love her,” Ames said. “We need to know she’s OK. I know she knows how to call me. She did it. She called me. I went to Phoenix and was trying to help her. If she had stayed and gone to the interviews this man would be under arrest. I know he has something to do with her being gone.”
The family has set up a Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/Mckayladawnmccormickmissing, to help locate McKayla. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Phoenix police at (602) 262-7626 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).
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