Fact Check

Missing Child: Mikaela Lynch

Is a 9-year-old autistic girl named Mikaela Lynch missing from her Clearlake, California, home?

Published May 13, 2013


Claim:   A 9-year-old autistic girl named Mikaela Lynch is missing from her Clearlake, California, home.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, May 2013]

Is this true?



Origins:   A 9-year-old autistic girl who is unable to speak went missing from her waterfront home in Clearlake, California on the afternoon of Sunday, 12 May 2013.

Mikaela Lynch was last seen in the yard of her home at 15197 Harbor Lane in Clearlake, police said. She had been jumping on a trampoline and playing with her younger brother in the fenced yard; her brother ran inside the house after being chased by a bee and left her alone for an unknown period of time. Her parents called for help at about 1:30 p.m., reporting the girl was gone.

Police and volunteers are searching door to door and in the water for Mikaela, who is described as 4 feet tall, 70 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. Because of the circumstances, her age and inability to speak, police put out a special "at-risk missing juvenile" alert.

She can't speak and has the mental capacity of a 1-year-old, Clearlake police Lt. Tim Celli said. "She does like water. The residence does back up to waterways," Celli added. "As far as we know she does not swim."

Police were told Mikaela typically wore a diaper and often removed her clothes when she was hot, and they found articles of clothing in the yard. Police believe Mikaela is naked and shoeless: "Canines have led to a diaper we believe the child was wearing at some point, located near the waterway, at least one house away," said Celli.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call police at (707) 994-8251.

Update:   Searchers found the body of Mikaela Lynch in a creek near her home on the afternoon of 15 May 2013.

Last updated:   15 May 2013


    McCallum Kevin.   "All-Out Search for Nine-Year-Old Autistic Girl Missing in Clearlake."

    The [Santa Rosa] Press Democrat.   12 May 2013.

    Rossman, Randi.   "Search Expands for Missing 9-year-old Autistic Clearlake Girl."

    The [Santa Rosa] Press Democrat.   13 May 2013.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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