Mother of missing teenager pleads for her return

Published: Jun. 2, 2015 at 9:42 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2015 at 11:19 PM EDT
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Source: Lizette Gary
Source: Lizette Gary
Source: Lizette Gary
Source: Lizette Gary

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A mother is speaking out after her 15-year-old daughter disappeared on Thursday.

Yani Lyle is a sophomore at Fort Dorchester High School who was last seen carrying a bag of clothes that afternoon.

North Charleston Police haven't released any leads on the case, but Lizette Gary, Yani's mother, is hopeful her daughter will come home soon.

"It's an abnormal behavior coming from my child that I know," Gary said.

There's a system in place for Yani, who would check in with her mom whenever she was going somewhere. It's a way for Gary to make sure her daughter gets where she's going safely.

Except on Thursday, Yani never came home from school.

The last time Gary spoke with her daughter was at 1:27 p.m., with the assumption she was on her way home.

"She explained to me that she was on the bus,” Gary said. “[She said] I'll be getting off the stop within seven to 10 minutes."

That stop is just a few blocks away from their home in North Charleston. When Yani didn't show up after 3 p.m., her mother got worried. She called police and filed a report.

"Reading between the lines, was she in the car when she said that?” Gary said. “Was she forced to say those things? I'm thinking of all these things. Or did she even say them, in spite, or being rebellious."

Gary says Yani is a hard-working 15 year-old who would come home and study for school.

Her mom says she's inseparable from her three-year-old brother, who is visibly aware something isn't right.

Police are calling this a runaway missing person case, but her mother has other thoughts.

"My daughter is smart, she's strategic, she's aware, she's conscious,” Gary said. “So I believe, I strongly believe that this is something that is beyond what we probably think it is... a runaway."

She also says Yani's disappearance has affected friends and family who have grown up with her.

Having traveled around the world, being an artist, Yani has several family friends who are sending their support to the family.

"It's not just me crying baby girl,” Gary said, in hopes of Yani watching or reading. “Everyone is crying and we're all praying for you. And I honestly believe that you are going to return home."

Gary said Yani was wearing a black shirt with black pants, and red, white, and blue Jordan sneakers. She has a black backpack with hot pink flowers on it.

North Charleston Police are asking anyone with information about Yani's whereabouts to contact the department, (843) 743-7200, as soon as possible.

This is still an active investigation and they're looking for as many leads as possible.

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