Mother worried after daughter runs away from CPS shelter

HOUSTON – Dayna McDermott-Durflinger is a mother with a broken heart, searching for her missing daughter, Skye-Lynn McDermott, 12.

"She's in grave danger. I'm very scared for her," McDermott-Durflinger said.

Since October, Skye-Lynn has been in the custody of Child Protective Services. Much of her time under the agency's care has been spent at the CPS shelter on the 6300 block of Chimney Rock in southwest Houston.

"She said she didn't like it there," McDermott-Durflinger said, referring to conversations she had had with her daughter about the facility. McDermott-Durflinger told KPRC2 her daughter ran away from the CPS facility three times. The last time she ran away was on Saturday, according to her mother. Skye-Lynn has been missing since then.

"She is on the streets and there's no telling what is happening with her," McDermott-Durflinger said.

Skye-Lynn is not the only child to have run away from the CPS shelter.

KPRC2 obtained a record of calls from the Houston Police Department, outlining the number of times an officer responded to a call from the facility about a missing person during the month of December 2016.

Within that time, there were 79 calls about a missing person. Some of them involved repeat runaways, such as Skye-Lynn.

"I want so much for her to get the help that she needs. I was counting on CPS to do that for me," McDermott-Durflinger said.

CPS told KPRC2 it's working with Houston police to locate Skye-Lynn and any other missing children. The agency underscored the fact that the facility is not a detention center.

"We want our kids to stay with us but we can't force them to stay," said Tejal Patel, a spokesperson for the agency.

"You can't make these children stay. It's not jail. They are not inmates. They're children," Patel continued.

"They are children," said Dayna McDermott-Durflinger, who wants to know her daughter's whereabouts.

Her message to Skye-Lynn:

"Please be safe and call me. Let me know that you're OK. Let me know that you're alive. I love you."

Anyone who has seen Skye-Lynn McDermott is asked to contact the Houston Police Department Missing Person's Unit at 713-394-1840.

About the Author:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.