More than a week after Angelina Church, 14, was last seen, her family continues to plead for her safe return.
“We’re hoping and praying every day that somebody sees something and sees her and we will get her back,” said Debbie Church, Angelina’s mother.
The Waxahachie High School student left school between 11:30 a.m. and 12 noon on Jan. 27, according to a press release from the Waxahachie Police Department.
Church said police obtained surveillance video of Angelina getting into the vehicle of a 20-year-old male driver.
“We know that she was with a 20-year-old that she had met on Instagram who had some mutual friends,” Church explained. “She had never met him in person but she had friends on Instagram that were his friends on Instagram. That’s how she met the 20-year-old.”
Church said she did make contact with Angelina on Jan. 27 and the teen insisted she was not in danger.
“She said, ‘Mom, it’s not a big deal. I’m just chilling out with my friend, Rebecca, here in Waxahachie,’” Church recalled. “I said, ‘Angelina it is a big deal. You’re skipping school. You know that’s against the rules and what are you doing? Why are you doing this?’”
Angelina, who is referred to in the press release as a “juvenile runaway,” has since turned off her cellphone, Church said.
The 14-year-old reportedly refused the man’s offer to bring her back home some hours later and asked to be left at the Whataburger restaurant in Red Oak where they went to eat.
The teen was last seen on surveillance video leaving Walmart at 100 S. Ryan Drive in Red Oak, according to the press release. That was around 12:55 a.m. on Jan. 28, Church said.
Church said police told her the 20-year-old man, who they questioned and let go, could not be arrested because he had not committed a crime.
“They said that because she got into his car at the high school and its on video and he did not abduct her or force her, she willingly got in,” Church summarized. “They said she doesn’t qualify for an amber alert because she was not abducted or forced in any way.”
“This is an active investigation and detectives are following up on leads,” the press release indicated.
Church said Angelina's behavior was out of character.
“She’s a typical teenager, but she’s also a really great kid that makes good grades and she plays softball,” the mother insisted. “It’s not typical behavior… She does not like crowds of people. She does not like being with people she doesn’t know. She doesn’t want to be away from home.”
“She has had one sleepover in the last four or five years… ,” Church added. “She doesn’t like to not be able to take a shower and wash her hair. She is particular about certain things. She doesn’t like to sleep in anybody else’s bed but hers. There’s just so many things that this kind of behavior is so bizarre.”
Angelina was “wearing a black and white hoodie, blue jeans, and black Converse shoes,” according to the press release.
She is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 165 pounds, wears glasses and is described as white with long, blonde and curly hair.
Anyone with information about Church’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Waxahachie Police Department at 469-309-4400.