Search launched for missing Arizona teen feared to have run away from home with boy she met online

 (Shaun Cardenas/Facebook )
(Shaun Cardenas/Facebook )

The parents of a missing Arizona teen have issued desperate pleas for information regarding her whereabouts.

Fourteen-year-old Karleigh Cardenas ran away on 29 August from her home in Casa Grande with a 15-year-old boy she met online, AZ’s Family reports.

Karleigh’s father Shaun Cardenas said that she spent five days with the young man, who lives in the community, before he returned to his home alone.

Karleigh was last seen at a Popeyes in Glendale — about 60 miles from her family home — but more than a week after her last sighting, her whereabouts remain unknown. The Casa Grande Police Department is now investigating the disappearance.

“We are desperately looking for her, and my heart has a bad feeling. I’ve hired private investigators to help find her,” the teen’s father wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook post. “We have gathered lots of useful evidence that needs to be viewed.”

Karleigh’s mother Joelle Cardenas told AZ’s Family that she feared her daughter was in danger.

“We just want her to know that if she can hear us, we love her so much. We just want her to return safely. We will not stop looking for her until we find her,” Ms Cardenas said.

Karleigh Cardenas was last seen roughly 60 miles from her home on 29 August (Saun Cardenas/Facebook)
Karleigh Cardenas was last seen roughly 60 miles from her home on 29 August (Saun Cardenas/Facebook)

The teen’s family is offering a $7,500 reward for anyone with information about Karleigh.

“We have a bad feeling about this. We have exhausted ourselves looking for her. It’s time for me to ask the community to help us,” Mr Cardenas said, adding that his daughter is “naive” and someone could have taken advantage of her. “She is very special to her family and we just want her home safe.”

The public is asked to contact the Casa Grande Police Department at (520) 421-8700 with tips about Karleigh’s disappearance.