Illustration for article titled Ransom Text Sent to Relatives of Missing Michigan Child
Photo: Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office

The family of a missing Michigan teenager received a text demanding that a ransom be paid for the girl’s safe return.

According to a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office news release, Shanijah Christionna Payne, 14, was last seen Thursday around 4:30 p.m. at her home in Ypsilanti Township. When Shanijah didn’t come home, her mother and grandmother received a group text demanding that a ransom be paid in exchange for her safe return. So far, no one has been able to locate or contact Shanijah.


Shanijah is described as being 5 feet 8 inches tall and 240 pounds. When she was last seen, her hair was pulled back in two braided ponytails and she was wearing a black jacket, a camouflage-pattern shirt, black pants and black shoes.

If you have any information concerning her whereabouts, you should call the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office at 734-994-2911, its confidential tip line (734-973-7711) or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 800-SPEAK UP (800-773-2587).

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.

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