Congresswoman calling for investigation of runaway's ruse

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on January 7, 2012 at 12:11 AM

DALLAS - Jakadrien Turner could be a case study for a licensed counselor.

"She's clearly a very smart, very savvy young woman to be able to pull this whole thing off, and to be successful at it for this long and to fool authorities on both continents," said Jenny Gomez, a licensed professional counselor for the last decade.

Turner, 15, used an alias in Colombia, according to her Facebook page, which said she was "Tika Confero" from Barbados, who attended Texas Southern University.

Jakadrien even posted pictures titled: "Familia - me happy 4 once in the mountains."

Her Facebook page said she's in a relationship with a Cuban man.

Why she ran away from her Oak Cliff home remains a mystery.

But at 15, she was sly enough to fool the feds, escape to another continent, and by all accounts, appeared to be doing okay.

"My hunch might be that she got this idea and spit out this name, and the train started rolling and she just kept riding it and didn't stop it," Gomez said.

"I have no problems with saying we apologize for those missteps the federal government was involved in," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, (D-TX) from Houston.

As a member of the House's Homeland Security Committee, she is now calling for an investigation to uncover how this teenage girl, who was listed in the national runaway database, could manipulate the system.

"But the question has to be asked, 'How did it happen?'" Lee said. "The reason we have to ask that is, 'Are there any others?'"

How Jakadrien Turner disappeared and went undetected for 13 months is a fascinating study for counselors, and likely a hard lesson for law enforcement.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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