Two Arizona teen runaways found dead in a water basin

The state of the remains indicates that the bodies had been in water for a longer period of time than they were alleged to be missing

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 26 January 2023 21:53 GMT
‘What happened?’: Bodies of 2 missing teen girls found in Mesa water basin

Two teenage girls who are reported to have run away from a group home in Arizona have been found dead in a water basin in the state, local officials have said.

The remains of Kamryn Meyers, 15, and Sitlalli Avelar, 17, were found over the weekend when a man walking his dog called the authorities after seeing what he believed to be a mannequin in a water retention basin in Mesa, east of Phoenix, the local police department said in a statement.

The bodies were recovered by police at around 6pm on 21 January. The teens had been reported missing on 7 January after leaving Powerhouse Youth Facility Inc – a group home for troubled teenagers not far from where their bodies were located.

The state of the remains indicated that they had been in the water for a longer period of time, WAFB reported.

Mesa police said the medical examiner will determine the cause of death. It remains unclear if foul play is a factor.

Powerhouse Youth Facility Inc lawyer Brad Miller told AZFamily that Kamryn and Sitlalli had left group homes previously and were heard discussing leaving Powerhouse on 6 January.

He added that members of staff attempted to convince them to stay but they left the following day, at which point they were reported missing.

Mr Miller told the local outlet that staff acted in accordance with procedures, notifying local police and the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS). Staff met with police again on 10 January. Mr Miller noted that the facility is licensed by the state and cannot legally force anyone to stay.

Area resident Cathy Catalfo told AZFamily that “there’s so much life ahead of them – they have so much opportunity and growth and learning”.

Sitlalli Avelar and Kamryn Meyers were found dead in a water basin, authorities say
Sitlalli Avelar and Kamryn Meyers were found dead in a water basin, authorities say (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

“It’s disappointing, you expect more,” she added.

Others living in the area said the group home used to be an assisted living facility.

Ms Catalfo noted that there has recently been an increase in police activity in connection to the home.

“There has been a lot of traffic in general, a lot of police officers coming in the last couple of weeks,” she told the local outlet. “I guess the first thing that comes to my mind is who enticed you to leave? What made you leave a safe environment?”

Les Nemeth told ABC15 that the basin is near where he usually plays golf.

“It’s really sad. People don’t have any respect or any value for life anymore,” he told the local TV station, adding that the teens’ deaths have shocked the area. “Things like this happen everywhere, but I mean, I guess you don’t figure it’s going to happen here.”

Anyone with information that can aid the investigation is urged to call Mesa Police (480) 644-2211.

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