Authorities were still searching Friday evening for a pair of missing Peninsula adolescents, though at least one city's police department admitted it was not looking very hard.
Benjamin Chilton, a 12-year-old Portola Valley boy, and Emily Schubert, a 15-year-old Palo Alto girl, were reported missing after Chilton's parents went to wake him up for school Thursday morning and he was not there, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Authorities believe Benjamin left with Emily overnight, and friends said the two were headed to the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco.
Law enforcement agencies in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, as well as San Francisco police and transit authorities, have been notified of the pair's disappearance.
Palo Alto police Sgt. Steve Herrera said his department isn't spending a lot of resources looking for Emily, and he declined to confirm the spelling of her name or offer a description.
"We're not giving out any information about this missing juvenile, because she is a juvenile and she's not at risk," he said. "She's a chronic runaway, and she'll show up in a couple days."
Asked if that meant the city was not concerned about her absence, Herrera said, "we're concerned, but I can't devote the manpower to chase her down in every city she goes to. She's out of our town. We've already had contact with people who have seen her in other locations. ... There's no danger in what she's doing.
She's spending the night at other people's houses."
The girl's family doesn't want the department to release a description or photograph, he added.
Palo Alto police Lt. Sandra Brown clarified that the department is looking for the girl but is letting other agencies take the lead, since she is apparently not within city limits. She said Emily is a white girl, about 5-foot-7 and 105 pounds, with bright pink hair.
Benjamin has been described as a white boy who is 5 feet 9 inches tall and 135 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.