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LAPD Asks for Help in Missing Girl Case

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The family of 14-year-old Andrea Wilson-Smith and the LAPD are asking the public's help in finding the teen that disappeared Tuesday from the 10500 block of Saint Andrews Place in the Athens-Westmont neighborhood of South LA.

Detective Harry Lee with the 77th Division told LAist that Andrea went outside in front of her house around 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday night before she disappeared. Andrea and her grandparents had just returned from Las Vegas a couple hours earlier at 8:00 p.m. and Andrea had asked for the keys to the car to get something out from the trip. A few minutes later, her grandmother went to see what was taking so long and Andrea was gone said Andrea's mother, Adrienne Wilson, over the phone to LAist as she was preparing to flier the neighborhood with information about her daughter's disappearance.

That night, the family drove around for an hour as the LAPD brought out a helicopter to look for people walking in the streets. Andrea was not found and it was presumed that she had gotten into a car.

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Detective Lee says running away is one possibility but most runaways are constantly running away--Andrea has never done so. In fact, Andrea, who would have been entering her freshmen year yesterday, is home-schooled. "I don't know what to think. She's not a kid who ever spent a night away from home," her mother explained.

With the recent and unfortunate buzz (for years, there was not much public focus) about LA's serial killer, dubbed the Grim Sleeper, it's hard not to start thinking down that road. The 10500 block of Saint Andrew Place is not only two blocks from Western Ave., where most of the slayings have taken place, but is a few blocks from one of the slayings in the 1980s. Looking at LA MetBlogs writer David Markland's map of the slaying locations, Andrea Wilson-Smith's disappearance fits the geographical pattern. As to any leads regarding the Grim Sleeper, Det. Lee, who is not assigned to that case, said he didn't think so. "You know, anything can happen, but hopefully not."

And let's hope someone knows something that could help the police and the Wilson-Smith family find their daughter safely. Andrea is described as having black hair and brown eyes, is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black tank top, white basketball shorts and black Nike tennis shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call 77th Street Detective Harry Lee at (213) 485-4156. On weekends or after hours, call the toll free 24-hour anonymous number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).