October 10 Update
Two missing Florissant girls have been found, according to the Florissant Police Department.
Dominique Cherry-Jones and D'Shay Knox were reported missing on Oct. 2. The girls were found at a relative's house in north St. Louis, according to Florissant Police spokesman Andy Haarmann.
The girls were not hurt.
Haarmann said there were no signs of the girls being in danger. He said they ran away from home.
The police department invested more than 300 hours into the search, Haarmann said and will continue to investigate why the girls ran away.
Originally posted on Oct. 7. Updated Oct. 9
It's been more than a week since two Florissant families saw their loved ones.
Dominique Cherry-Jones has been missing since Wednesday, Oct. 2.
The 14-year-old McCluer High School student was last seen with friend DaShay Knox. Dominique was wearing black clothing and black shoes and was carrying a blue bag, according to her mother Shiree Cherry, who said school officials reported Dominique as not showing up for class on Wednesday.
Skipping school is something her mother said is completely out of character, which makes her worry that much more about her daughter's whereabouts.
“I’m not sure if she’s being held against her will, but I just want her back home," Shiree told KTVI. "She has always had big goals and big dreams and big ambitions and never did this before.”
In the meantime the family is pushing to get an Amber Alert for Dominique.
The Florissant Police Department (FPD) is treating the disappearance as a missing persons case and possible runaway case. FPD said it needs more information before an amber alert can be issued, at that right now it appears Dominique and DaShay left of their own free will.
“We don’t have any evidence to show she did not voluntarily leave," FPD spokesman Andy Haarmann told KMOX. "We do believe she voluntarily left the house, we’re just hoping to find her and reunite her with her family."
Police said they are working the case, which hasn't proved easy with some false leads and people the department defined as "uncooperative" associates of the teen making it hard to determine fact from fiction.
Police did say the department believes Dominique is still in the Florissant area and said parents need to know the people their children are hanging around. Another FPD tip: always keep updated cell phone, social media and contact information for those closet to your children.
Amber Alert Complexities
Another side effect of the U.S. government shutdown is the Amber Alert site was down. It is a Department of Justice program. Click here to view the message that was displaying on the homepage. The Department told Buzzfeed on Monday, even with the website being down, the Amber Alert system is fully functional during the government shutdown.
UPDATE: The Department of Justice confirmed a person was taken off furlough Monday morning to re-open the Amber Alert website. It went live again some time after noon.
"The amber alert system was never interrupted, but to eliminate any confusion, the informational site maintained by the Justice Department has been restored," the spokesperson told Huffington Post.If you have any information about where Dominique may be call the Florissant Police Department at (314) 831-7000.