‘It took her away:’ Harnett parents believe 17-year-old used social media to lure missing daughter
A desperate search continued Monday for a Harnett County teenager who has been missing for more than a week.
Ashanti Dyzare Harper, 15, was last seen July 22 after she left her aunt’s home on Antioch Road in Goldsboro at about 2 a.m. by crawling through a window, authorities said.
“They say it was about 2 to 6 [a.m.] that she went out a window. No indication of what could have happened, what did happen,” Harper’s mother, McKinsey Harper, said.
Ashanti Harper had been staying with her aunt for three weeks before her disappearance, and her parents said she appeared to be in good spirits.
“We knew she was happy. I mean, she smiled, she laughed, she joked,” Ashanti Harper’s father, William Harper, said.
Ashanti Harper’s family, who live in Harnett County, said they believe that she developed a relationship with an unidentified 17-year-old while she was staying at her aunt’s house. Family members believe the 17-year-old, who has been named as a person of interest in the case, lured the teen into leaving the Goldsboro house.
“You have this guy on social media, and he’s telling you, ‘Well, if you leave home, you can come stay with me. You’ll have money, and you won’t have to do this and you won’t have to listen to that’ and more talk, and it just took her right on away from us,” McKinsey Harper said.
Authorities said they believe Ashanti Harper may be headed to New Jersey, but the question that remains is whether she ran away or was taken against her will.
“They get what they need, and then they’re gone, and we know nothing about this person. But they know everything about our daughter, and we believe they truly have our daughter in their hands,” William Harper said.
The Harpers said their daughter took some personal items and clothing in a bag before she slipped out the window. She has also made all her social media accounts private since disappearing, her parents said.
Ashanti Harper is described as being 4 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 100 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink coat and dark pants.
Anybody with information is asked to call the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at 919-731-1480.