Malayasia Saunders ran away after shopping at Fairway Market, cops say

Missing Red Hook 15-year-old found

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A Red Hook teen is safe and sound after disappearing from the grocery store just two blocks from her brownstone home for a little over a week, according to cops, who say she ran away.

Malayasia Saunders, 15, vanished after shopping at Fairway Market on Van Brunt Street around 8:50 pm on Feb. 3 and did not turn up again until around Feb. 12, according to police. She is now back in the care of her grandmother, who is her legal guardian, police said.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Diane Carter from Red Hook says:
Hi my name is Diane Carter. I am the aunt of Malayasia Saunders. I just wanted to share with you the real story of what actually happened. Yes my niece is home now as of February 17th 2014, not the 12th. It’s funny how the police give up fallible information. I would like to tell you that the police working on this case are greatly uninformed because there was little done on their end to help bring my niece home. My mother (Malayasia’s guardian) and I have not heard from a single detective for the last 7 days before she was found, after dozens of daily attempts to reach them. The only reason why she is home is through the efforts and persistence of her family members. We were trying to contact the detectives to tell them viable information and a list of people who we thought she might be with and they never made an attempt to contact us back. The way we were able to locate her was through my efforts of calling out for help on my Facebook page. There were many people that my niece agreed to meet up with and never did. However one person actually contacted me and I helped her orchestrate a way to get Malayasia to give up her location and she actually did! Malayasia told the girl that she was in the Barnes and Nobles on Court St. I then called the store and the manager confirmed through a description that she was there. I took a cab to the Barnes and Nobles. On my way there I asked the manager to call the police so that they can hold her there until I arrived. Since I have a bad back and feared that Malayasia might try and run, I didn’t want to go in there and confront her alone. Once I arrived I called the manager and told her that I would wait outside until the police arrived. After waiting over 40 minutes and a failed attempt to have officers from the 76th precinct (dealing with Malayasia’s case) go to the Barnes and Nobles to meet us. I called 911 and the woman notified me of the previous call by the manager and said that someone will come as soon as they can. My boyfriend who lives in Jamaica, Queens drove down to the Barnes and Nobles from his home and still made it before the police. He and I went in to get my niece who didn’t resist. As we were going outside to put her in the car. A traffic cop had stopped to give my boyfriend a ticket for being double parked in front the Barnes and Nobles, he had to explain to them why he was double parked to avoid a ticket and it wasn’t until the traffic cops radioed the police at the 84th precinct that the police came which was about 15 minutes afterwards. They questioned her and then we took her home. I just want to say that I really feel that there is a lack of urgency when it comes to missing children, whether or not she ran away or was abducted doesn’t mean that the urgency to find her should be any different. The amount of difficulty we had reaching detective and the delayed response time to acquire her is improbable. There is definitely a flaw in the system. Why don’t they have more consistency when it comes to missing children? Every time I called the precinct, and the detective who was working on the case was either on the field or off, there is absolutely no one else that they will let you talk to regarding the case even if it is time sensitive or pertinent info that will help the case. We’ve left our contact number for the detectives and their supervisors and no one ever called us back. If these are the people who are suppose to protect and serve and are getting paid with my tax dollars I would like to see a little bit more effort. It’s a shame that with limited resources (compared to detectives) I was able to find where she was. I stood up late every night trying to track her moves and contact everyone she spoke to on Facebook, while working a day job and running my own small business at home. Nonetheless I am very happy that she is home now but for someone who’s job is to find missing people, they really aren’t good at it. I would love if you could revise the story and add the truth. I don’t want these scumbags taking the credit for something they didn’t even try to do.
Feb. 19, 2014, 11:04 pm
Resident from Red Hook says:
There's no place like home!

So happy for Malayasia and her loved ones
Feb. 20, 2014, 12:41 am
Megan Riesz says:
Thank you for commenting, Diane. I would like to talk to you about this further and get the story straight. Please give me a call or send me an e-mail at the number or address listed above.
Feb. 20, 2014, 2:43 pm
Ice from Bed Stuy says:
Coppers eating too many donuts.. DO YA JOB!!!! while children are missing, the innocent being abused they are handing out tickets & still trying to stop & frisk.. FRISK THIS reality check.. You guys have just been put on BLAST aaaagain.. smh.. Is that why you don't want these stories advertised by The Brooklyn Paper... A sad day in America
Feb. 21, 2014, 4:03 pm

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