– The 16-year-old Gilroy High School student who disappeared
Friday night during a school field trip in Modesto was found in
Merced Tuesday evening.
GILROY – The 16-year-old Gilroy High School student who disappeared Friday night during a school field trip in Modesto was found in Merced Tuesday evening.
“Right now, I’m just so glad my daughter is home,” said Cynthia Carter, the mother of Tamika Jones. “But she just doesn’t seem to be the same.”
While details surrounding Jones’ disappearance are still sketchy, Carter said she believes drugs were involved and possibly sexual assault, although she said her daughter appeared to be physically unharmed.
Jones called Carter from a Merced pay phone around 6 p.m. Tuesday evening and asked her mother to come pick her up.
Jones told her mother she was unable to contact her during the last four days when she was stranded in Merced because the group of men she and two of her classmates had voluntarily left Modesto with had no phone.
Jones’ two female classmates returned to Gilroy Saturday after spending Friday night with Jones and the group of three men in their 20s at their Merced apartment where Jones has spent the last four days. It is still unclear why Jones did not return to Gilroy with the other two girls, Carter said.
“I think she did some drugs over there and she was confused,” Carter said. “She told me the guys told her they would take her back to Gilroy, but never did; and they did not have a phone, so she was stranded.”
Carter thanks her daughter’s return to a police search Tuesday of the Merced apartment complex where one of Jones’ classmates who spent Friday night with her said she might be.
During the search police were unable to contact anybody who had contact with Jones, but Carter believes the word got out that she was a missing juvenile and the men she was staying with finally decided to take her to a phone.
Merced police detectives could not be reached for comment this morning, but a member of the Merced Police Department said according to the case report no criminal charges were being filed. Carter said the police told her they would file criminal charges against some of the men who lived in the apartment.
Jones left her backpack with her planner and notebooks on the school bus, and no possessions were missing from her room that would indicate she had planned to run away, Carter said.
“This whole thing has been very emotional and confusing for us,” Carter said.
“We’re looking at how we should handle this situation, but when all is said and done discipline is a strong possibility,” Superintendent Edwin Diaz said. “No decision has been made yet. Our first priortiy was to make sure she is safe and back with her parents.”