MIAMI (AP) _ Two 13-year-old Oklahoma girls believed to be in Miami four years after they were abducted have likely been transformed by drug use, sexual experience and violence into ″completely different people,″ authorities say.
Charlotte June Kinsey and Cinda Leann Pallett, whose pictures were circulated over a national police network, have been seen in the Miami area in the past two months, Metro-Dade police Lt. Denis Shaw said Tuesday.
Members of the Metro-Miami Task Force on Missing and Sexually Exploited Children, formed April 1 to investigate such cases, are combing northwestern Dade County for the two teen-agers, now 17, Shaw said Tuesday.
The task force concentrated on the pair after officers turned up leads and began carrying the girls’ pictures with them, Metro-Dade police Cmdr. William Johnson said.″They got some information from the northwest section of the county that they were seen around there for some time.″
The girls apparently were using names similar to their real ones, he said.
Children who have been away from their homes as long as the two girls often have been deeply transformed by sexual and violent experiences as well as drug use, and have difficulty making the transition once they are found, Shaw said.
″We believe they are completely different people from the ones that were kidnapped in Oklahoma,″ he said.
But police tracking down leads on the girls have found ″no indication that they are involved in prostitution or pornography,″ Johnson said.
The two were kidnapped Sept. 26, 1981, from the Oklahoma State Fair, where witnesses said the girls left with a man.Since their disappearance, Oklahoma police have received leads from as far away as Germany, Johnson said.
″We don’t want to build up false hopes,″ he said. ″We feel confident that these girls are one and the same, but they could be look-alikes.″
The mothers of the two girls said in Oklahoma that years of false leads have tempered their optimism.
″We’re trying our best to take it with a grain of salt,″ said Norma Pallett. ″It’s such an awful letdown when you find out there’s nothing to the story.″
Both she and Pearla Peterson, Charlotte’s mother, said they were poised to fly to Miami ″if it’s an accurate sighting.″