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Missing: Elizabeth Higgins, 16, Also Known as Rhiannon Higgins, Has History of Running Away

| March 7, 2017

Elizabeth Higgins, who also goes by Rhiannon Higgins (her middle name is Rheanne), in a picture from one of her Facebook pages, left, and in an image provided by the family to the sheriff's office.

Elizabeth Higgins, who also goes by Rhiannon Higgins (her middle name is Rheanne), in a picture from one of her Facebook pages, left, and in an image provided by the family to the sheriff’s office.

Update:: Elizabeth Higgins was found safe Wednesday, March 8, the Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday evening.

Elizabeth Higgins of Filbert Lane in Palm Coast was reported missing Monday (March 6) after failing to return home from Matanzas High School. She is better known in school by the name of Rhiannon Higgins (and has taken on other names), and had last gone missing in February.

The name “Higgens” was reported by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in a missing-person alert on Monday. David Higgins–spelled with an i–a 43-year-old resident of Corning Court, is her father.

Elizabeth is 16, white, about 5’2”, and weighing 135 pounds. She is a bus rider and was last seen possibly wearing a green hoodie and blue jeans. Her direction of travel is unknown. She has been entered into state and national databases as missing.

Her step-mother, Christina Atwell, 40, of 47 Filbert Lane, reported Elizabeth missing Monday afternoon, telling deputies–according to a sheriff’s report–that she and her father “have been having issues with Elizabeth running away from home because she does not want to go to Job Corps,” the federal education and vocational training program.

Elizabeth had last gone missing on Feb. 20. Her father told deputies on Feb. 24 that she usually does not go anywhere, and had at the time been grounded for some time. She had not been in school that week. Her father at the time had found a letter in Elizabeth’s room in which Elizabeth writes of staying with a friend after high school and getting a job, in preference to going to Job Corps.

An image of Elizabeth Higgins on a Facebook page she created under the name of Amber Smith.

An image of Elizabeth Higgins on a Facebook page she created under the name of Amber Smith.

“I might go into the military because right now it’s my only shot,” she goes on in the letter, whose intended recipient is not specified but appears to be her parents. “I know you’re going to be angry, but this is for me. I can’t stay there any longer.” She speaks of being made fun of over personal issues, and continues: “I’m staying in Palm Coast because I’m finishing school. I’m not restarting somewhere I don’t know anyone. I need my friends because they’re all I’ve got and I’m not going somewhere that I’ll have no motivation to do. DO NOT look for me you won’t find me. I’m okay, I’m safe and I’ll still go to school. I love you all very much. Continue your lives please don’t stress over me. I will assure you I’m okay.”

On Feb. 24 deputies got reports of her previous whereabouts and eventually located her at a house on Beachwood Drive, when she said she did not want to go back home because she alleged being abused (an allegation her step-mother denied). She then threatened to kill herself, the report states, if she were returned to her home, so she was Baker Acted and taken to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach. Her parents were subsequently informed of her whereabouts.

Adding to concerns, Atwell Tuesday evening said Elizabeth has “some mental health issues” and has not been medicated since she left home. “She’s not within herself,” Atwell said.

elizabeth higgins missing person

This image appears as Elizabeth’s profile picture on one of her Facebook pages, but her mother cast doubt on the image’s authenticity.

Regarding her going missing on Monday, deputies again checked the two homes where she’d previously gone, on Beachwood Drive and on Webster Lane, without success. Her stepmother in a brief interview said Elizabeth “changes her name constantly,” and has gone by such names as Amber Smith.

“Please help us assist this family and be on the lookout for Elizabeth,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “We need everyone to be alert and return this teen safely to her family.”

Anyone with information about Elizabeth Higgins’s whereabouts is asked to call the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at (386) 313-4911.

15 Responses for “Missing: Elizabeth Higgins, 16, Also Known as Rhiannon Higgins, Has History of Running Away”

  1. Sadie says:

    Hopefully a better picture will be provided soon as this one is too blurry to be able to make much out.

  2. USA Lover says:

    Kids run away from home all the time. Not sure this is newsworthy yet.

  3. big world says:

    Uh, USA Lover anytime a person is missing its newsworthy!

  4. George says:

    @”USA Lover”… You wouldn’t be saying that if it was your child missing. This is a fairly small community, any help finding a missing child is welcomed help.

  5. Dee K Griggs says:

    Definitely you are not a parent
    Yes kids runaway,but this is not a safe world anymore and she is only 16
    Flagler Sherriffs Department and her parents are doing the correct thing. Anyone knowing her location and someone does needs to speak up. As a parent or grandparent this is your worst nightmare.Prayers for the family.

  6. Laurie says:

    The poor child desperately needs help,,, hope her parents pursue help for her when she is found.

  7. anonymus says:

    Sending prayers & positive vibes to this girl & her family.

  8. Christina Atwell says:

    Thank you all for your concerns. We just want Elizabeth home safe. Please if you hear or know of anything contact us or the FCSO, or Matanzas high school, Flagler live, or DCF, just contact someone who can make sure she’s safe and help us get her home. She has 3 very confused and concerned younger siblings, and of course me and her dad! Please, we’re begging for some kind of information.

  9. Born and Raised Here says:

    Just tell the folks who she is staying with, that they are aiding and abiding, They’ll send her home.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Clearly if you’re saying “it’s not news worthy “you havent read the whole report.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I hope that this young woman and her family can get the help they need to deal with their issues, after she is brought home safely.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone ever thought maybe it’s her homelife that made her run away??! Like seriously.

  13. Dave says:

    She said herself she was being abused at home, I hope that is looked into

  14. Richard Smith says:

    Glad that she was found safe with no harm done. But what will prevent her from doing it again?

  15. Elizabeth higgins says:

    A year later and I finally have the guts to say something about this report. As the child who once belonged to that family, I hope you all know that the only reason they called the police is because I wasn’t able to make it to school and they were scared the abuse allegations would catch up and they would get into trouble. When I was able, my teachers, the principal and the school dean, all, were trying to help me not have to go back home. I had been staying with a friend. The only reason they were concerned was because the police told them they had a certain amount of time to pick me up or they would be arrested and charges with abandonment and neglect.

    They may have sounded concerned, but they weren’t. The only concern they had was them possibly getting arrested.

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