Police: Runaway Alabama girl located in Mississippi has died

March 31, 2022 GMT

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A 13-year-old girl who reportedly ran away from her home in Alabama before being found in a nearby Mississippi city has died, Mobile Police said.

The circumstances around the death of Keyanna Sylvester remain unclear, police said.

D’Iberville Police Capt. Jason King said the girl was at a motel in the city and at some point went to an area hospital, although he added that it is uncertain how she died. He told WALA-TV that investigators are waiting for a report by the medical examiner to confirm a cause of death.

“We’re saddened by the events that occurred in our city,” he said.

The girl reportedly ran away March 21 and was believed to have spent some time in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and was seen two days later in Moss Point before being found in D’Iberville and taken to a hospital, the station reported.

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King said it was too early in the investigation to say whether Sylvester’s death was the result of foul play.

“We’re making sure we’re careful about not saying whether it’s criminal or not criminal at this time,” he said.

The girl’s death took neighbor Alexie Thames by surprise. She described Sylvester as a sweet girl who was almost like her own daughter. She said the girl attended the school where she works.

“It hurts me real bad because Keyanna was my baby,” she said, fighting through tears. “It’s sad. Whoever did this to my favorite baby, I hope, I hope – Lord. Please, God. Oh my God.”