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Worried families trying to track down their children


Akneesha Silva
Austin Neves

Updated: Monday, 10:15am

Two frantic families are trying to find their early teen children who disappeared together at around 3am Sunday morning. The mother of Akneesha Silva said her child always leaves her cellphone on so she can be reached. But so far, she says her daughter’s phone has been off. Shannon Benfit says there was a rumor that Akneesha and her boyfriend, Austin Neves, may have hopped a bus in Newport enroute to California or maybe hitchiking in that direction. A check with bus companies indicates that they were not on any buses leaving the area.

Adkneesha is 13 years old, is 5-7, 135 lbs, auburn hair and blue eyes. She lives in Lincoln City. Austin is about the same age, 5-3, 115lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He lives in Newport. Both attend Newport Prep, across Eads from Newport high School. Austin was believed to be wearing a red hoodie, green t-shirt, blue jeans and is wearing braces. He also is is believed to be wearing a black school type backpack. Akneesha is thought to be wearing possibly a black jacket, blue tank top, tall grey boots with black and white sox. She has purple highlights in her hair and her right ear is pierced.

Newport Police say they have checked to the Eugene bus company that comes through Newport and they say they did not pick up any young children, nor would they sell tickets to young children. Same for the Amtrak train in Eugene and Albany. Thus far police say they may still be hanging around Newport at a friend’s house pondering their situation. Or they might be in an abandoned house seeking shelter.

Shannon Benfit said she was told by an Oregon State Trooper that there was a report that two young people were seen hitch hiking north out of Newport yesterday, and that they got onto a bus. But the reporting party said they weren’t sure it was them, nor of any identification on the bus.

Austin’s mother Shannon Rullman said she has been updating her son’s Facebook page so that everyone will know that he is missing and that if anyone knows where he and Akneesha are to contact her or Newport Police. She said she and her husband did a long drive-thru of Newport last evening checking out abandoned houses or places where the teens might be. She says she believes in her heart that the two are still in Newport – maybe hanging out at a friends house whose parents “don’t know what’s going on.”

Anyone who may know the whereabouts of these two children should call Akneesha’s mother Shannon Benfit at 541-921-5982, or Austin’s mother Shannon Rullman at 541-264-8189, or their nearest law enforcement agency.

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