Fact Check

Missing Child: Mikala White

Mikala White: Missing child or Internet hoax?

Published Dec 18, 2014

Claim:   Mikala White is missing from her Cherokee County, Georgia, home.


Example:   [Collected via Facebook, December 2014]

PLEASE take a moment to share this! My friends daughter went missing on 12/04/14 in Georgia and the people we believe are guilty are involved in sex trafficking. PLEASE repost and ask others to do the same , even if you don't know anyone in that area someone you know just might. Every little bit helps us get one step closer to her daughter coming home safely!!! Her name is Mikala White and she was abducted in the Marietta/Smyrna Georgia area. If you have any tips or any information please call (772)323-7980 - with Charlace Pamela Gent.


Origins:   On 8 December 2014,

Facebook user Kayla Delehant posted the above-quoted message to her Facebook page regarding missing Cherokee County, Georgia, teenager Mikala White. Delehant's initial post was widely seen and shared in the days following its publication to Facebook.

However, the original plea to find White lacked one key aspect: her name. While a clear and recent photograph was attached to the message and relevant contact information was shared, many concerned readers mistakenly assumed Kayla Delehant was the name of the missing teenager. Delehant identified herself in the message as a friend of White's mother, Charlace Gent.

On 15 December, Delehant updated her message to include White's name, but many viewers did not see the update. The original message is otherwise accurate: Mikala White, 15, disappeared in Cobb County on 4 December 2014. The teen was last seen on a school bus but was absent from classes on the day she vanished.

A Facebook page dedicated to spreading the word about missing people posted the following status update on 18 December 2014:

Missing Mikala White, age 15, a student at Cherokee High School in CANTON, GEORGIA got on the bus December 4th, 2014 but never made it to class, and authorities in Cherokee and Cobb counties are continuing to search for her. Cobb authorities were alerted to the situation because the girl is believed to possibly be in Cobb County. Mikala is about 5'4" tall, has brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with information regarding Mikala's whereabouts should call 911, or Cobb County Police at (770) 499-3900 or the Cherokee County School District Police Department at (770) 704-4346 or the Cobb County Sheriff's Office at (770) 499-4600.

A local news source confirmed White disappeared on 4 December 2014:

"On the morning of Dec. 4, Cherokee High School student rode a CCSD school bus from the group home where she lives to the school, but she did not report to class or return to the group home," said Barbara Jacoby, spokesperson for the school district. "The CCSD Police Department reported her as a runaway to the Cherokee Sheriff's Office, as well as to the Cobb and Marietta police departments, as she is believed to possibly be in Cobb County. Her information also was entered into the GCIC/NCIC database."

Authorities stated Mikala White might have traveled to neighboring Cobb County, but did not provide any additional information on the teen's disappearance or the circumstances under which she went missing.

On 19 December Mikala was found by police a few miles from where she had been reported missing two weeks earlier. She and another girl said they had been staying in an abandoned home nearby. They were both arrested by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department and charged as runaways.

Last updated:   18 December 2014

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

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