UPDATE: NiAni Rashaad has been located safely, according to Kent police on Friday night.
Kent police are asking for the public’s help to find an 18-year-old who has been missing since Sunday.
NiAni Rashaad, who is autistic, was last seen around 7 p.m. Sunday in the area of the Riverwood Apartments in the 24600 block of Russell Road South. She was returning home after watching a movie with a friend, said Commander Robert Hollis of Kent police.
Police have been combing the area for surveillance video. Hollis said at a press conference Thursday that they are particularly looking to hear from anyone who hasn’t spoken to police yet and lives in the Riverwood Apartments or nearby Signature Pointe Apartments and might have video pointed at the walking path or Russell Road near the two complexes.
Police have partnered with Puget Sound Fire to patrol the Green River, have been checking encampments along the riverbanks, conducted a helicopter search and have been distributing flyers, Hollis said.
Rashaad’s family and Kent Mayor Dana Ralph joined police at the news conference Thursday, calling out for the community’s help.
“We miss her joy, her laughter, her creativity,” said Rashaad’s mother, LiAnn Forest-Parramore. “She deserves to grow and continue to love each person she encounters. She’s special. She loves you from the bottom of her toes to the tip of her head and she’s not with us. She’s coming home and I’m asking everyone to be on the lookout.”
The family is inviting volunteers to meet them at Hogan Park at 24400 Russell Road at 3 p.m. Saturday to hand out flyers about Rashaad’s disappearance.
Rashaad is about 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds. She was last seen wearing a brown striped sweater, black tank top, camouflage shorts and a holographic fanny pack. She has naturally short brown hair but was last seen wearing a short curly wig.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911, the department’s tip line at (253) 856-5808, or email KPDTips@kentwa.gov.
“Every tip that we get is very important for us,” Hollis said. “Even if there’s community members that think that maybe it was just not a big deal, or think maybe I saw her, maybe I didn’t — just go ahead and call. Our detectives are waiting for those tips and are ready for those tips to come in.”