Parent searching for teen who ran away from rehab facility - WSMV News 4

Parent searching for teen who ran away from rehab facility

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Brooklyn Jones Brooklyn Jones

Some parents who trusted Oak Plains Academy in Ashland City to care for their teenagers are now learning their children ran away from the rehabilitation facility.

One mother told Channel 4 News she has no idea where her daughter might be.

Brooklyn Jones, 16, suffers from bipolar disorder and ADHD, according to loved ones. Her mother, Tonya Jones said her daughter could be a danger to herself and others.

Jones described Brooklyn as angry, aggressive and at times, uncontrollable.

"When she's stressed or angry, she tries to hurt herself or others," Jones said.

The mother thought she had found the solution in Oak Plains Academy, a state-licensed treatment center specializing in mental health and substance abuse for children.

Jones said when she called the facility on Sunday, she was told her daughter was missing.

According to Jones, a staffer told her that her daughter and several other teens walked away from campus into nearby woods on Saturday.

"She's got the mental capacity of a 10-year-old when it comes to social skills," Tonya Jones said.

Oak Plains is run by Universal Health Services, Inc. Citing privacy laws, the company's CEO refused to comment on the situation.

"Oak Plains Academy takes the well-being of its residents very seriously," Universal Health Services said in a statement. "The management and staff are cooperating fully with all authorities involved in the investigation."

Staffers would not say how Brooklyn Jones or the other teens got out of the facility, or who was supervising them. Oak Plains is in a wooded area, and no fences separate the facility from the community.

Oak Plains was formerly known as Chad Youth Development Center. Between 2005 and 2007, two teens died under mysterious circumstances involving staff members. The center became the target of numerous allegations and complaints.

As recently as this summer, an Oak Plains employee was accused of touching a child inappropriately. The Department of Children's Services opened an investigation. DCS spokesperson Rob Johnson said investigators substantiated the claims, and Oak Plains fired the employee.

Many questions remain about Brooklyn, but her mother just wants to know that her daughter is safe.

"There's nothing I can do but pray my girl comes home in one piece," she said.

Jones said her daughter is also epileptic; without her medication, she could be in danger.

The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is now investigating this incident after a complaint was filed. Their licensure office will handle the probe.

Investigators are not releasing the names of the other runaways at this time. It's unclear how many kids are still on the run. The names of the teenagers have been entered into the National Crime Information Center, according to a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department.

The department's incident log shows someone reported the runaway incident on Saturday evening from Oak Plains Road.

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