Missing girls found safe, reunited with their families

UPDATE: The missing girls have been found safe and are with their families, San Diego police said Thursday.

SAN DIEGO — Two girls, aged 10 and 12, who did not return home after school were reported as runaways in San Diego and authorities asked for the public’s help Thursday morning in locating them.

Darlene Cruz, 12, and Ashley Natalie Orea, 10, both told a classmate at Ibarra Elementary School they planned on running away together after they got out of school Wednesday, according to the San Diego Police Department.

10-year-old Ashley Orea (left) and 12-year-old Darlene Cruz never returned from school after telling classmates they planned to run away together.
(Photos: SDPD)

The pair left the school located at 4877 Orange Ave., near 49th Street, about 1 p.m. Wednesday and did not go home. Orea’s mother flagged down officers about 7:30 p.m. and informed them her daughter was missing. Cruz’s mother called police about 9:30 p.m. to report her daughter missing, the SDPD said.

Ashley is Hispanic, 5 feet tall and weighs 115 pounds with brown eyes and hair. She was last seen wearing a black hooded sweater with white stripes on the sleeves and a white crest logo on the chest, blue pants, black Vans shoes and was carrying a white Hello Kitty backpack, police said.

Darlene is Hispanic, 4 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 96 pounds with black eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a green Hollister sweater, blue jeans, white shoes and had a black Jansport backpack with her, police said.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of either girl was asked to call the SDPD’s Mid-City Division at 619-531-2000.

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