BURLINGTON, N.C. (WFMY) — It’s been 10 days since anyone has seen or heard from Krystian Ryleigh Stuart.
The 16-year-old was last seen Wednesday, May 18 in the parking lot of the Dollar General on Rauhut Street in Burlington.
Police say she’s with a convicted sex offender and they say the teenager went with him willingly.
But now, they’re not sure she is willingly staying with the man, who authorities have since charged with child abduction in the case.
“We are very concerned for her safety because no one has talked to her, no one has spoken to either one of the two,” said Sergeant Drew Gerringer, Burlington Police Department.
He added, “We’re not assuming anything. We are taking this very, very seriously and we’ve had detectives in every day over the last 3 days and we’re actively out looking for her.”
Sergeant Gerringer says the police department originally requested an Amber Alert for Krystian once they realized she was with William Thacker, a registered sex offender.
“Unfortunately, this case does not fall within the guidelines that the state has put in place [for an alert],” said Sgt. Gerringer.
Police are still treating her case as though it were an Amber Alert, putting as many resources as possible into looking for her
“Every agency in the state of North Carolina has been notified at this point along with other agencies through other distribution groups that we have – Virginia, South Carolina,” said Sgt. Gerringer. “Pretty much anything on the southeast coast knows who we’re looking for, what we’re looking for and why.”
Police believe Krystian and Thacker met at a carnival last month. Police say the two made plans to meet at a Dollar General and the two took off with plans to head north. A surveillance camera captured Krystian walking towards Thacker’s white truck.
Thacker was convicted of Second Degree Sex Offense and Assault on a Female in 2008 and spent 5 years in prison. Because of those crimes, he was placed on parole and had to register as a sex offender.
Police have a warrant for Thacker’s arrest on charges of child abduction. Monday, his probation officer also took out a warrant for probation curfew violations, failure to complete treatment classes, and trespassing.
“Her being in the presence of Mr. Thacker is very concerning and that’s the reason we are treating this the way we are,” said Sgt. Gerringer.
They are asking anyone with information about Krystian and Thacker’s whereabouts to contact police immediately at 336-229-2500 or 336-229-7100.