Family needs help finding missing DYA client - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Family needs help finding missing DYA client

by Nick Delgado

Guam - Family members of two clients at the Department of Youth Affairs Talofofo Cottage Homes are concerned over what they feel is the agency's lack of action when the clients escaped from the facility nearly two weeks ago.

"DYA never even made an alert, that's the one thing that frustrates us the most is they never made an alert, I'm pretty sure that when there is an escape, there is an alert that suppose to be sent out," said a cousin of DYA clients Gary Joseph Chargualaf Quinata and Joshua John Pangelinan.  They question the actions of the agency after they were informed by the agency on January 16 that the boys left the cottage homes.

They asked not to be identified, as they feared them speaking out to the community would prevent the boys from coming out of hiding, or worse, that they might find out that something bad might have happened to them.  "Tomorrow makes twelve days, and if tomorrow hits and he's still not here with us then our biggest fear is that they did something to him or something happen to him and that is our biggest fear," said the person.

While family members say they were continuously informed by DYA that they are taking care of the situation, the department's director says the boys did not escape from the facility but rather walked out.  "It's an unsecured facility," explained Tony Ada, "so they can come in and leave as there's not that many restrictions down there. And they just left one afternoon."

Ada says that's part of the reason no alerts are put out when it comes to clients at the Talofofo facility, along with them being minors. However, KUAM News has learned that the boys walking out could have been prevented as we were told that DYA officials were alerted of the boys plans to run away.

While it's been nearly two weeks since the boys left the Talofofo facility, just a hour after our interview with ada, he told KUAM News that Gary was picked up by police.

Ada says walking out of the cottage homes results in the boys facing additional charges along with them being placed at the secured Mangilao Facilty. In the meantime, the search continues for Joshua, as Gary's cousin concluded, "There's social workers here to talk about what's going on, if he has any problems or to see what's bothering him. We just want him to get back and get back safely."

Joshua was last seen Wednesday afternoon in the Macheche area of Dededo. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the Dededo Police precinct.

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