HERRIMAN (ABC 4 News) – Five days after a missing endangered teen went missing in Herriman, investigators have been able to locate her and bring her back home safe.
Lily Stephens, 15, left home without a cell phone or a coat on Friday and didn’t return, missing Christmas with her family. Her mother, Jennifer Brown said she became extremely worried after her other daughter, Amelie found notes in Lily’s room, threatening self-harm.
“This year has been extremely rough for all my children. But especially Lily. She’s at a very vulnerable age,” said Brown.
Brown told ABC 4 News her family has experienced tremendous loss in the past 10 months, affecting Lily the most as her oldest child.
“My mom passed away suddenly in January. Her uncle, Gabriel drowned in March and her uncle, Clinton ended his life on Halloween this year. So she’s pretty broken, lost, and angry,” said Brown. “Her counselor said that Lily has seen more loss in the past year than most adults do in their entire life.”
She said since then, Lily has been bullied at school.
“It’s supposed to be the best years of her life and it’s the worst. It’s not fair that a 15-year-old is hurting so much and as a mom, I can’t put a band-aid on it,” said Brown emotionally.
As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Herriman Police located Lily safe and sound. Brown said officers obtained a warrant and tracked down her location from social media. They found her after knocking on several doors.
Although Lily has been found, Stephens’ case highlights the on-going battle of teen mental health in the area. The Herriman community has lost seven students to suicide in the past year. Investigators said the circumstances of her disappearance hit home for their department.
“It’s an issue that’s on the forefront of, I think, a lot of our minds. It makes us certainly concerned for her well-being at this point,” said Brown.
She said even though her daughter will come home tonight, her family will focus on getting Lily the help she needs.
“The numbness is still there. I’m in fear of tomorrow and the days to come. I’m hopeful that now, I can get her some help and figure things out for her,” said Brown.