Missing Florida Teen Found Shot Dead Days After Turning 16

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Florida teen De’Shayla Ferguson, reported to be involved in a human trafficking case, was found shot to death in the front yard of a home after running away from a Department of Children and Families office in August.

On Monday, four days after she turned 16, Florida teen De’Shayla Ferguson was found shot dead in the front yard of a house, according to reports.

According to local outlet Spectrum News, a report from Orlando Police said she was a ward of the state. 

Ferguson had been reported missing since August 12, 2022, after reportedly running away from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) office in Orlando, according to the outlet. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office did not reveal any details about a possible suspect, but said in a statement on Tuesday, “Be assured, our homicide detectives are working diligently to find and arrest her killer,” according to reports.

The report states that a DCF employee told police that Ferguson was taken to their office in Orlando to be placed with a foster family for the night because she had to be in court the next day in relation to a human trafficking case, according to local outlet WESH.

The report stated that the teen “became argumentative with staff,” and ran away, leading two DCF employees to unsuccessfully look for her, per the outlet. 

Ferguson was described as a “habitual runaway,” in the report. Orange and Seminole County Public Schools reported Ferguson never attended a school at either district, per the outlets.

According to the outlets, the report stated that the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation is working on the human trafficking case, and the sheriff’s office is currently investigating the teen’s murder.

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