A Buffalo mother is making a desperate plea for the return of her 14-year-old daughter, who has been missing for 18 days.
Relatives said Loniqua Lott was last seen Jan. 5, when she ran away from her mother on Olympic Avenue. She has not made contact with her family since then.
The girl's mother, Diamond Burrough, said Loniqua has never run away before, has never been in trouble with the law and is a good student. She believes that her daughter is being held captive by some older men.
"This is totally out of character for my daughter. I've never had a problem with her," Burrough said.
Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards said the case is being investigated by Detective Joyce Solomon of the Buffalo Police Department's Sex Offense Squad, which handles missing persons. Richards said that there is no immediate plan to launch a police search for Loniqua and that foul play is not suspected.
"In the absence of information on her whereabouts, it would be difficult to organize a search effort," Richards said. "Fourteen years old is obviously very young. . . . Hopefully, we'll be able to locate her and return her home where she belongs."
Her mother also sought help from Arlee Daniels Jr. of the Stop the Violence Coalition, whose members are helping her to distribute missing-person fliers today in the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood.
On Jan. 5, Burrough and her daughter were walking south at 12:10 p.m. on Bailey Avenue, heading to a convenience store, when the girl ran to nearby Olympic Avenue and then north toward Kensington Avenue.
"She was walking behind me, and she took off," Burrough said. "It was like she saw someone and took off. It happened so quick, and I don't know where she went."
On Jan. 14, Loniqua left a voicemail message on the cell phone of a friend, a 14-year-old boy, saying she wanted to see him, Burrough said.
"He said the phone call was strange because he could hear arguing in the background, and it sounded like someone was guarding her conversation," Burrough said.
Burrough, a health care worker and nursing student, has been home-schooling her sixth-grade daughter for the past five months. Loniqua, a former pupil at Hamlin Park Elementary School 74, was home-schooled four days a week and attended the Sylvan Learning Center two days a week, according to her mother.
"She's a closely watched child," her mother explained. "She's naive. She doesn't go out much. I'm a very firm and God-fearing parent. All of her activities are structured. We don't even have cable."
Loniqua is described as 5 feet, 1 inch tall, weighing 132 pounds, with brown eyes and dark brown hair. She was last seen wearing a black knit cap, black three-quarter-length coat, green pants, gold T-shirt and blue boots.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is urged to call the Buffalo Police Department's Northeast Police District at 851-4416 or the Buffalo Police Confidential Tip Line at 847-2255.