Authorities in Massachusetts said the state's child welfare agency had prevented them from interviewing a 15-year-old girl who they say ran away from a group home with a 13-year-old girl who has since been found safely.
Methuen police Chief Joseph E. Solomon called the Department of Children and Families' refusal to let his investigators interview the 15-year-old about Jessica Jimenez's whereabouts "unacceptable" on Friday morning.
By Friday afternoon, a lawyer for the girl that had returned was made available.
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"They said the girl had a private attorney and protocol was an issue. She said they should have sent a DCF attorney and she wants to work on the situation so it doesn't happen again," Chief Solomon said.
Jimenez and the other teen ran away from their group home on Elm Street on Monday, according to Solomon, who said he is concerned because it's atypical for a runaway to leave during the week.
The other teen returned to the group home on Thursday, but Jimenez remained missing until Saturday morning. Methuen Police said that she was "safe".
DCF workers in Lawrence previously wouldn't let police officers or detectives speak to to the returned teen about Jimenez unless she had a lawyer present, but Solomon had countered that the state's child welfare agency hadn't made a lawyer available for about two days.