Mother thinks missing Lakota 8th grader is with boy from same complex

A Liberty Twp. eighth grader reported missing Thursday night has still not been found, despite officials searching a local home where she may be hiding.

Rachel Johnson reported her daughter, Laniya Johnson, missing after she failed to return home while walking a short distance from a family friend’s house at Lakota Pointe apartments to her own residence in the same complex.

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“She left about 8 p.m. from one of my friend’s house saying she was going home to fry some potatoes. She never showed up,” Rachel Johnson said.

The Liberty Junior High student ran away in May with a boy who also lives in the complex, according to Johnson. The teen’s friends have said she is also with him this time.

“I am 100 percent positive he as well as his mother know where she is,” Rachel Johnson said.

Butler County Sheriff’s Lt. Rick Bucheit said deputies have gone to the boy’s house multiple times and were told she wasn’t there. On Sunday, they were given permission to search the house and did not find Laniya.

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Rachel Johnson said Laniya has contacted friends telling them she was with the boy from a phone registered to his mother.

“She does not own a phone, she lost those privileges last year,” Johnson said.

The mother says she is so worried about her daughter and the influence the older boy is having on her.

“She is only 14,” Rachel Johnson said, tearing up. “She is a wonderful child when she is not in this environment. I just want her safe.”

Bucheit said there is a warrant out for Laniya’s arrest through juvenile court on a probation violation.

“There are people who claim to have been in touch with her …. we do not believe she has been abducted,” he said, adding that deputies are actively looking for the girl.

Lakota Local Schools Superintendent Matt Miller on Saturday morning went to Twitter to seek help from people in the Lakota community.

“Please contact the Butler County Sheriff’s Office if you have any information,” Miller urged the #WEareLakota community.

If you have any information about the missing teen, call deputies at 513-785-1300.

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