The missing 18-year-old autistic Kent woman has been found and is safe.
Kent Police released an update at about 9:45 p.m. Friday, June 4 that NiAni Rashaard had been located.
“We are happy to inform the community that through the work of the Kent Police Department and Kent detectives, NiAni Rashaad has been located,” according to the statement. “We know that this has been difficult for the family and we appreciate the support the community has shown.”
Police did not release any details about where or how Rashaad was found.
The mother of Rashaad pleaded Thursday afternoon, June 3 for the public’s help to find the missing autistic woman.
Rashaad went missing on Sunday evening, May 30 walking home from a friend’s after watching a movie, according to Kent Police. She went missing near the Riverwood Apartments in the 24600 block of Russell Road South.
“My daughter is missing and I love her,” her mother said at a Kent Police media gathering outside City Hall. “She has a strong family who is behind her 100% all over the world. We miss her joy, her laughter, her creativity. She is special and one of a kind. She deserves to come home and deserves to be with us. She deserves to grow and continue to love each person she encounters. She loves you from the bottom of her toes to the tip of her head.
“She’s coming home and I am asking everyone to be on the lookout. Pay attention. Provide us with details we can use to find her. We are going to find her. …She will come home.”
Kent Mayor Dana Ralph led off the media briefing asking for the public’s help to find Rashaad.
“It’s important to get the message out so that we can bring her home,” Ralph said.
Ralph said officers are focused on the missing person case.
“The Kent Police Department is using every resource that we have to find NiAni and bring her home,” the mayor said.
Rashaad is Black, 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 125 pounds, has brown hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a brown-striped sweater, black tank top, camouflage shorts and was wearing a short curly wig, according to Kent Police. She has naturally short brown hair but was wearing a curly wig when she went missing. She also had on a holographic fanny pack. She does not carry a cellphone.
Cmdr. Robert Hollis said police have worked with local businesses and residents in the area to track down tips and surveillance video. He asked that anyone who lives near the Riverwood Apartments or the nearby Signature Pointe Apartments to come forward with information or video they might have from cameras at their homes.
Bicycle officers have checked homeless camps along the Green River, Hollis said. Puget Sound Fire deployed a rescue boat to search the river banks. The King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter has looked near the apartments and along the river.
“If community members think maybe I saw her or maybe I didn’t, go ahead and call our detectives,” Hollis said. “Every tip we can get can help us.”
Her info has been entered into state and national databases listing her as missing.
Ralph ended the media briefing asking for the public’s help.
“My plea to the community is to help us bring her home,” Ralph said. “She needs to be reunited with her family. Let’s do everything we can to bring her home.”