Authorities in California are hoping for a lead in their search for a missing Moreno Valley teen last seen with a friend more than a week ago.
According to KTLA, 16-year-old Aranda Briones disappeared on January 13, her family says.
She is described as about 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing roughly 110 pounds. Police say Briones has hazel eyes and brown hair; she was last seen wearing a dark shirt and jeans with a white and blue coat.
The male friend last known to have been with before she vanished said he left her at Moreno Valley Community Park shortly after 6 p.m. on the evening of her disappearance, as reported by Fox News. He reportedly told Briones’ relatives that he saw her leave the location after entering a gray sedan.
According to the missing teen’s brother, however, investigators with the Moreno Valley Police Department indicated that a search of nearby surveillance cameras had not provided any evidence showing Briones was dropped off at the location on Frederick Street.
“They pulled footage and they don’t know if the time was wrong, but it looks like nobody was dropped off between 6 and 6:30,” Daniel Briones said.
He cited his sister’s female friend as the initial signal that something was wrong. She reportedly used a social media feature and found Aranda Briones’ phone ping at an unusual location. Shortly after she sent her friend a message inquiring about her whereabouts, the missing teen’s phone reportedly shut off and has not yet been turned back on.
The missing girl’s uncle also spoke to reporters, calling his niece a “sweet, bubbly person” whose family is desperate to see her safely returned home.
Matthew Horstkotte addressed the situation from outside of the local police station, where he gathered with other relatives to pass out information about his missing niece.
Though he continues to seek help in the search for her whereabouts, Horstkotte noted the pain associated with the dead-end tips that have come in so far.
“When it comes down, they say it wasn’t her,” he said. “It’s just like being back to square one.”
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact the Moreno Valley Police Department by calling 951-486-6731, or a dedicated tip line at 951-247-8700.
[Featured image: Aranda Briones, Moreno Valley Police Department]