Clover Teen Lexi Thomas, 16 Has Been Missing For Almost Two Days And Counting
People from all over York County are sharing Lexi’s picture and her mother’s call to action in hopes of bringing the teen home safely. Posts about Lexi, including updates, prayers, tips, suggestions have been plastered all over Rock Hill and York County groups like the Facebook yard sale site, One Man’s Junk Rock Hill, SC. With little assistance from police in Clover and Rock Hill but a ton of help from a community via social media, word is spreading about the missing Clover, SC teen Lexi Thomas.
What We Know So Far About Missing Teen
Lexi’s mother, Leslie Dawn Thomas dropped her off at Bojangles in Clover around 4pm on Friday, August 20 for her shift. It has been said that she left Bojangles sometime between 7 and 8pm that evening “with a friend who dropped her off in Rock Hill.” She was supposed to work until 11pm. No word on who the friend is at this time.
It’s unclear under what circumstances the teen left her place of employment or exactly why. It has been said that she has been seen with Mike Russell, approximately 33 years old, who we discovered is a manager at Bojangles in Clover where Lexi works.
An employee at Taco Bell on Cherry Road in Rock Hill has since claimed they saw her there, but she left after about an hour. It’s suspected she was at Taco Bell between 10:00pm and 1:00am. The employee said she left with someone in an older pickup truck, but nothing has been confirmed.
Another account from the same Taco Bell is as follows: The patron saw a girl resembling Lexi, wearing a sports bra and shorts with a backpack of sorts. She was picked up by a male, but not Mike Russell, the man depicted in the photos.
Mother In Distress Over Missing Daughter
Leslie Dawn Thomas is questioning how no one saw her leave or why no one is coming forward with any more information. Viewing her profile on social media she is “falling apart” and is doing everything a mother can to spread the word about her missing daughter. From posting her personal phone number to creating flyers, Thomas is frantically doing everything she can to find her daughter and bring her safely home.
AMBER Alert For Missing Teen Not Issued
An AMBER Alert should be issued immediately, but so far, authorities are not doing so. A relative of Lexi Thomas has said that a Clover Police Department officer told family members that Lexi is “too old for an AMBER Alert” and that it is believed she is “safe and will come back on her own and not to worry about it.” This is according to a Facebook comment by Jessica Thomas, Lexi’s aunt, on a shared post with details about the missing teen.
However, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division website, an AMBER Alert can be issued only after an abduction has been reported and an investigation finds that “the child is 17 years old or younger”, “the law enforcement agency believes the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death”, and “the law enforcement agency believes that the child has been abducted: taken from their environment unlawfully, without authority of law, and without permission from the child’s parent or legal guardian” as was the case with Brittanee Marie Drexel, who was last seen in Myrtle Beach on April 25, 2009 at the age of 17.
But the possible abduction has technically been reported: a teen left her place of employment with someone without her parent’s permission. Though we don’t know under what circumstances she left, a lot of times teens are unfortunately treated as runaways when they go missing, which may be the case with Lexi.
Even though the situation is not an AMBER Alert (at the time of this article’s posting), there doesn’t seem to be an investigation. As a matter of fact, the York County Police Department’s social media page is not sharing information about the missing teen, our community alone is.
When Police Can’t Help
It’s also been said that both Clover and Rock Hill Police Departments are “understaffed” and unable to review recordings from the establishments at which Lexi was last seen. Lexi’s mother has also pointed out in one of her social media posts that she’s been “to all of the businesses door to door and they have additional footage”, but to her knowledge, nothing has been reviewed.
Lexi, who is 16 years old, has short, blond hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing her Bojangles uniform: a red or orange shirt and black pants reportedly leaving with Mike Russell, a Bojangles manager. She was initially seen leaving Bojangles in Clover and since then has been seen leaving Taco Bell on Cherry Road in Rock Hill.
Anyone with any information is encouraged to call:
Clover Police Dept. 803-222-9494 or Rock Hill Police Dept. 803-329-720