13-year-old runaway found safe after tip to Sioux Falls police

The teen left home on Saturday, Feb. 11, and hadn't been heard from since, but a tip from the public helped police find her five days later.


SIOUX FALLS — A 13-year-old runaway has been found safe in Sioux Falls, five days after she left home.

The Sioux Falls Police Department had been searching for a 13-year-old who left home on Saturday, Feb. 11. According to police spokesman Sam Clemens, a member of the public submitted a tip to authorities that the teen may have been at a trailer court in northwestern Sioux Falls.

While patrolling the area on Thursday evening, officers spotted the teen outside. No injuries were reported.

The tip came in after Clemens used Thursday's regular police briefing to issue a call for public assistance, as authorities considered her an endangered person due to her age.

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Earlier story, published February 16, 2023 11:52 AM:


Police searching for 13-year-old runaway, no communication reported since Saturday

SIOUX FALLS — The Sioux Falls Police Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a 13-year-old runaway who hasn’t been seen or heard from in five days.

According to police spokesman Sam Clemens, 13-year-old Rayne Jennesse willingly left her Sioux Falls home on Saturday, Feb. 11, and hasn’t been in contact with friends or family or used social media since.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Feb. 13, the Sioux Falls Police Department described Jennesse as 5-foot-4. A photo included in the post depicted her with longer, dark hair and wearing dark-rimmed glasses. Clemens said she was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and gray sweatpants.

“Usually in the case with younger kids like that, they'll talk to friends, they'll maybe have social media access where they’re posting stuff or having some communication,” Clemens said. “In this case, she has not communicated with any friends and there hasn’t been any posts that we’re aware of. Really nothing.”

Since Saturday, police officers have kept in contact with Jennesse’s friends and family, checking various addresses across the city and checking in at schools, hoping that someone would have some information.

“It’s a little unusual because usually when we have runaways, they keep in contact with their friends, and this isn't the case in this instance,” Clemens said. “If anybody can find her or knows where she's at or even has seen her recently, we want them to call police right away.”

Though Clemens was hesitant to say Jennessee is “in danger,” he said the police department is investigating the runaway as an endangered person due to her age.

“It’s actually classified as an endangered person because of her age. Essentially, what that means is that a 13-year-old really doesn't have the forethought to plan on where to stay, where to get food and those types of basic survival things,” Clemens said. “We don’t know if she has a coat with her or anything else, so obviously there’s a concern.”


Clemens repeated that nothing was suspicious about Jennesse’s disappearance, but that police are concerned for her well-being.

“It's hard to say there's not any danger because of her age and the fact that she just disappeared. The initial reason why she left — there wasn't anything suspicious or concerning with that. That was something that she chose to do at the time,” Clemens said. “The fact is that it’s now been a few days and we haven't had any luck finding her or even heard anything where she may be or may have been. That’s the part that's a little concerning.”

Clemens urged anyone with information regarding Jennesse’s possible whereabouts to call police at 605-367-7212.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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