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Six children vanish in one week in Philadelphia area

By Jimmy Adeel
|
May 2, 2023

In a troubling trend, six children ages 12 to 16 have gone missing in Philadelphia within a week.  The Philadelphia Police Department has stated that these cases are not connected but that children going missing in the city is an unfortunate and increasingly common problem.

The Missing Children

The children, who went missing from different districts between April 23 and April 30, are:

Leaneli "Lea" Santiago, 15

Kayla Marie Burgess, 13

Maddison Brozoski, 15

Malachi Portus, 16

Amirah Portlock-Harris, 12

Aaron Hammond, 12

Police Response

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police Department told the Daily Mail that these cases are not related and that children going missing is a "normal thing, unfortunately."

Parents or guardians often report their children missing after a few days, seeking help from detectives.

Leaneli "Lea" Santiago

Lea Santiago was the first to vanish. The 15-year-old was last seen on Sunday, April 23, at 11:55 p.m., on Loretto Avenue in North Philadelphia.

She is 4 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs 95 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Lea is known to frequent the area around Cohen Elementary School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School.

Kayla Marie Burgess

Kayla Burgess, 13, was last seen leaving for school in the morning of April 24 on East Johnson St. She is 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighs 119 pounds,  and has a medium brown complexion, black hair, and brown eyes.

She was last seen wearing a pink and orange hoodie and jeans.

Maddison Brozoski

Maddison Brozoski, 15, was last seen in Scranton on Tuesday, April 25, but is believed to be somewhere on East Allegheny Avenue.

She is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and weighs 175 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Malachi Portus

Malachi Portus, the oldest of the six at 16, was last seen on Wednesday, April 26, near North 25th St. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds, with a medium complexion, short black hair, and a mustache.

He was last seen wearing a black hoodie, red bonnet, dark jeans, a black backpack, and black and white Vans sneakers.

Amirah Portlock-Harris

Amirah Portlock-Harris, 12, was last seen on Saturday, April 29, at 12:30 p.m., on Germantown Avenue.

She is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 135 pounds, has braided black hair with several red braids, brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a tie-dye sweatshirt, black jeans, and tan New Balance sneakers. She likes to frequent the Center City and Fashion District area.

Aaron Hammond

The most recent child to go missing, Aaron Hammond (12), was last seen on April 30 at 12:40 p.m. on Sydenham St. He had an afro at the time he went missing, unlike his appearance in earlier pictures.

Aaron is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and weighs 100 pounds, with a thin build, dark skin tone, brown hair, and brown eyes.

As investigations continue, authorities urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of these children to come forward and contact the Philadelphia Police Department.