Missing Matthews Teen Girl Safely Located

The Latest:

The Matthews Police Department says 15-year-old Vanessa Romero has been located and reunited with her family.

Romero had been missing since the morning of September 4th, when she got off the school bus instead of going to Butler High School.

Authorities have not provided information about where or how they located her.

Original Story:

MATTHEWS, N.C. – There don’t appear to be any clues in Jessica Almazo’s answers to the typical questions you’d ask a parent about their missing 15-year-old daughter.

“Has she ever run away before?
“Does she have a boyfriend?”
“Did you have a fight?”

Jessica says Vanessa Romero is a good kid, an A and B student, and a homebody. Jessica and her husband regularly check Vanessa’s phone, usually at night. She says, “We wouldn’t allow her to sleep with phones, because children with phones, don’t go to sleep.”

The morning of September 4th, Jessica says Vanessa walked the short distance from her home on Ablow Drive to her school bus stop, as usual. She got on the bus to go to Butler High School.

Jessica started getting alerts from the school that Vanessa was absent. She texted her daughter, who told her she was taking a test and couldn’t talk. Later, she turned her phone off.

“We went straight to the police department and we filed a report that she may be missing,” says Jessica.

The next morning, Jessica and her husband went to the bus stop to talk with the bus driver. “He said she got on the bus, and out of nowhere, she just got up and said ‘Oh I’m not going to school today’ and she got off,” says Jessica.

Jessica says the bus driver didn’t see anyone waiting to meet Vanessa.

Jessica says she didn’t know Vanessa has a private Instagram account. She says there has been no activity on her other social media, her bank account, or her phone. Vanessa’s dad calls her “Kachorra.” He hopes she sees this news report. WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty asked, “If she sees this, what would you say to her?” Jessica said, “Wherever she is, to come home. We are waiting. We want her home. We all worry about her. We just want her home here, safe with us.”

Vanessa was last seen wearing a black tank top, a long black knit sweater, grey spandex shorts, and black Air Jordan shoes with silver and pink accents. She is 5’8″ tall, and approximately 200 pounds. Her 16th birthday is coming up this Saturday, September 14th.

We have asked Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools if there are cameras on Vanessa’s bus, and what the district policy is on letting students off the bus before they get to school. We are waiting to hear back.

If you’ve seen Vanessa, or know where she is, call 704-847-5555 or 911.