No evidence of abuse at home of teens who ran away three times in ten days, Temple Police say

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - There is no evidence of abuse or neglect in the home of Sean Delacruz, 14, and Dylan Sherman, 16, after the brothers ran away three times in ten days, Temple Police said.

Sherman returned home Monday after running away for the third time with his brother on Sunday, police said. Delacruz had still not returned home as of Monday evening.

“It’s a unique case. I don’t know that we’ve had [teens run away] this many in this short a time frame,” Lieutenant Brian Moody with Temple Police Department explained Monday.

He says they have instructed the boys’ mom to call the department if they don’t return home, without notifying her where they are going. He says each time they have been reported, they’ve gone to a friends or to play basketball and didn’t come back.

“We go through the same routine each and every time most of the time they are eventually returning home themselves,” Moody said.

The boys were first reported as runaways on April 15. Since then, the police department has posted to social media that the boys were found but then missing again two additional times.

They are two of seven teens the department has posted as runaways this month, a number that seems high, but Moody says is average.

He says in 2018, between January 1 and April 25, 72 runaway reports were filed, this year, its been 75.

Moody says the COVID-19 pandemic skewed data in 2020 and 2021.

He says the public may perceive the number of runaways as high because of the departments new strategy to post about the runaways to social media, right away, which they didn’t do in the past.

Along with Delacruz, the department also recently posted about Timothy Davis and Gabrielle Gomez saying they ran away from home and have not returned.

Gomez is 16, 4 feet 9 inches tall, 115 lbs. with black hair and blue eyes, she was reported as a runaway on April 22.

Davis is 6 foot 2 inches and 190 lbs. He has brown hair and stubble facial hair, he last seen on April 9 at 1:50 pm wearing a black warm-up suit and multi-colored shoes.

Moody says most runaway cases are handled the same.

“We usually send an officer out they take what’s called a runaway report,” he explained.

He says they find out the timeframe the teen left, what they were wearing and any possible places they may have gone. Then he says they are entered into the statewide runaway database.

“In the event another officer would run into them, and run their name, it would come up that they are a runaway,” Moody said.

“Very rarely do we find them out in the field, most return home when they’re done doing whatever they went out to do,” he explained.

Once they return home, he says they follow up with the runaway and family to see if any factors at home contributed to them running away.

In the Delacruz and Sherman case, he says there’s no evidence of a poor home life.

“There are no underlying conditions at [Sherman and Delacruz’] home, there has been no outcry of abuse or neglect that’s been reported to us,” Moody said.

He says in some cases, police will call Child Protective Services in runaway cases, in case they see something the officer did not catch, but did not indicate that CPS was called in the brother’s case.

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