aaliyah ramirez

MISSING: Teen dancer disappears on her way to school

Police in northern Indiana say they believe a 14-year-old girl who vanished a month ago and is believed to be in danger is no longer in the area.

Aaliyah Ramirez, a dance student in Syracuse, was last seen leaving her home just after 8 a.m. on April 27, on her way to school. She never made it to the bus stop.

A neighbor’s doorbell camera captured the last known images of the teenager.

“I don’t want to jeopardize the case, but it is an ongoing active investigation. We are working along with the Indiana State Police at this time. She is not believed to be local, and that’s all I can say at this point,” Syracuse Police Chief Jim Layne told 16 News Now.

Police have mentioned three areas where they believe Aaliyah could be — Marion, Indiana, about 70 miles south of Syracuse; Georgia; and Palm Beach County, Florida — but they’ve released very little other information. About a week after her disappearance, Palm Beach County deputies visited a relative’s home there but told WPTN they did not find the teen.


“We have been investigating this from day one and we will continue to do so until we find her,” Layne said.

Indiana State Police issued a Silver Alert for Aaliyah on April 30, describing her as 5 feet 9 inches, 138 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black, zip-up jacket and gray and white sweatpants and was carrying a purple Nike backpack. State police said they believe the girl is in danger.

Aaliyah’s father, Anthony Ramirez, told Dateline NBC that the day his daughter disappeared “was a totally normal day.” He says he doesn’t believe she is runaway and thinks she may be being held against her will in Florida. Her mother, Ashli Aspy — who lives about two hours away in Hartford City — said she last saw her daughter on the Sunday before she vanished and it, too, “was a good day.”

“We got pedicures and manicures, went thrifting at Goodwill, and went out to lunch,” she said.

Aaliyah’s ballet teacher, Hailey Toy, and others who know the teen from the dance community are helping push word about her disappearance in hopes of finding her faster.

“She is young, she is so young and the idea she is going through all of this right now and that she might not be safe, we don’t know what is happening,” Toy told 16 News Now.

Anybody with information about her is asked to call Syracuse police at 574-267-5667. Tips can also be shared through NCMEC at 1-800-843-5678.

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[Featured image: Aaliyah Ramirez/Indiana State Police]