Missing Matteson teen found unharmed in Chicago
By Casey Toner firstname.lastname@example.org March 21, 2011 1:12PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Police say the Matteson teenager who was reported missing last week — before returning Sunday — ran away from home when she got picked up in a van during school.
Kaylen Langon, 16, whom family and friends hadn’t seen since she left Rich South High School in Richton Park on Wednesday, called her mother at 4 a.m. Sunday “screaming for her to come and get her,” according to Airicka Gordon-Taylor, a spokeswoman for the family.
“She was shaken up by the fact she was in the environment and she’s a straight suburban girl,” said Langon’s mom, Karen Lewis-Sims. “She knows nothing about being in Chicago.”
Matteson Deputy Chief Ken Arvin said Langon’s parents alerted police right after she called. Officers went to the family home and helped the girl identify a church to stand by since she was lost at about 75th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago.
A family member picked her up at about 6 a.m. according to Gordon-Taylor. Police said Langon was taken to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields, where it was determined she had suffered no physical harm.
Gordon-Taylor and Lewis-Sims would not say exactly where Langon was, how she got there or why she went missing. Arvin said detectives would be speaking to her this week about it, although no charges are likely.
Arvin said Langon disappeared with another friend from Rich South High School during the day. They left the school and entered a silver van, which left the campus.
According to Arvin, Langon led police to her friend, who was in a different part of Chicago. Her parents also picked her up on Sunday.
Langon’s family held a prayer ceremony Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Matteson Police Department, where they criticized the police for treating her disappearance as a runaway case.
Lewis-Sims said she is glad her daughter is safe and that she has hired a private investigator to look into the matter.
“I never would have thought she would have ran away,” Lewis-Sims said. “I think a lot of it was she was scared. That was not her intention but it ended up being more than what she thought it was going to be.”
Arvin said it is common for children to run away. Seventy-seven people have been reported missing in Matteson since the beginning of 2010, but those who were reported have returned.
“This may have scared her enough so she won’t do it anymore,” Arvin said. “Hopefully, she won’t do it again.”