Mother of missing Chickamauga teen with autism wants answers and daughter home

Chickamauga police working with police in North Carolina to chase down leads

One of a parent’s worst nightmares is having a child missing, and you don’t have any idea where they are or how to contact them.

Even more painful is when that child has intellectual disabilities and goes missing.

The mother of a missing Chickamauga 17-year-old child with autism spoke with News 12 this afternoon.

“Come home. Or, at least, call me or text me. Let me know that you’re OK. But we want you home…”

A desperate plea from Angela Kernea, the mother of Talyn – a 17-year-old missing girl with autism from Chickamauga.

Talyn is considered a high-functioning child with autism, meaning she can carry a conversation, but may have a difficult time understanding social cues. It’s an issue that parents with special needs understand, but others may not…

“It’s hard because we try to do everything we can to help her, get her involved and stuff, but she just don’t know where she belongs, and I think that person, whoever helped her, took advantage of that.”

Talyn is a gamer, but nothing like Call of Duty. She’s into simpler games, and likes to play with others online, but that can lead to problems for a child with autism.

“To her, the people online are like standing in front of her. They’re actually her friends. They’re being nice to her. They’re her best friends. And as long as they’re being nice, that’s what they are.”

Whomever lured Talyn to North Carolina got her out of her sister’s house with a pre-paid Lyft car, and a pre-paid Greyhound bus ticket. Beyond that, the Kerneys don’t have a lot of information to go on, and that pain runs deep trying to find their missing daughter.

“The hard part is not knowing. You don’t know if they’re being taken care of, or if she’s got a warm place to sleep, or food…or if somebody’s mistreating her. You just … the not knowing if she’s just even there…or even if she’s even going to be able to come back home.”

News 12 spoke with the investigating officer with the Chickamauga Police Department this afternoon, and he confirmed that the details that have been released to this point are true. He is working with North Carolina’s state police as well as the Charlotte Police Department. He also hopes they will bring her back home to Chickamauga where she belongs.

Categories: Featured, Local News, Walker County

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