Runaway girl located in Mississippi has died, police say

Police said a runaway girl died in Mississippi. (Source: WALA)
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 2:54 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A 13-year-old runaway reported missing last week and located Sunday in D’Iberville, Mississippi, has died in an area hospital, according to the Mobile Police Department.

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

The girl reportedly ran away on March 21, was believed to have spent some time in Ocean Springs, Miss., and was seen on March 23 in Moss Point, Miss., before being found in D’Iberville and taken to a hospital.

D’Iberville police Capt. Jason King said the girl was at a motel in the city on Thursday and at some point went to an area hospital, although he added that it is uncertain how she died. He told FOX10 News police are waiting for a report by the medical examiner.

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

King said it was too early in the investigation to make determinations about 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. Whoever did this to my baby, Lord, Jesus. Y’all need to help whoever did this to my baby. Keyanna was my baby. I talk about her all the time.”

Thames said she worries about her own children.

“And something like this to happen like this – I got kids, too, that come outside and play.”

Updated at 5:17 p.m. with comments from Capt. Jason King and neighbor Alexie Thames.