ST. LOUIS ( -- Every teen who left the Annie Malone Center Friday night has been found , a spokesperson for the center says.

Police told News 4 three girls, ages 13, 14 and 15, and two boys, ages 11 and 13, left the Annie Malone Center Saturday. An 18-year-old man also left without permission.

Police said all were located and returned to the center on Saturday. The 14-year-old girl was found Wednesday night around 6 p.m., a spokesperson for the Annie Malone Center said.

About a month ago, Alderwoman Shameen Clark Hubbard visited a store across from the Annie Malone Center. 

"I noticed a child in the middle of the floor crying," Hubbard said. "As a mother of five, I could not walk past that child."

She talked to the child and said the child told her he ran away from the center. 

"I was very disheartened by what I saw," Hubbard said. "But, the staff was doing an amazing job."

She questioned the center's resources and ten days later met with the CEO. 

"She knew the problem. She knew the concerns," Hubbard said. "She wasn't acting as if she was oblivious to that, but was saying she was going to work on that."

Now, the CEO, Sara Lahman, tells News 4 there was a security breach Friday night. She sent this statement to News 4: 

"We can confirm that there was a breach of security at our residential facility on July 12 2019. The safety and security of our staff and of the children we serve is paramount. We are investigating this incident and will act swiftly and appropriately."

Hubbard now wonders, as an alderwoman, what needs to be done to improve safety for the kids, staff and people in her district.

"These children who landed there are coming from bad circumstances. So, to come into something that could potentially be worse, it is like re-traumatizing them everyday," Hubbard said. 

Lahman told News 4 she has recently invested in nearly $50,000 for security upgrades at the facility and will begin renovations soon. 

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.