Rickhia and Nicolette McClam left a note on their dad’s bed, packed clothing and their iPods, grabbed the nearly $100 they each had from birthdays and holidays, and left.
The twin 12-year-old girls haven’t been seen since.
On Thursday, their tearful father begged for them to come home.
“You know your dad loves you very much,” Rickey McClam said. “You know your dad loves you more than anything in the world.”
The Coral Springs Police Department has been looking for the girls since McClam reported them missing Tuesday afternoon. Police believe the girls ran away, but said their biological mother, who lives in New York, may be involved in their disappearance. The Special Victims Unit doesn’t typically handle runaway cases immediately.
“What made this one slightly different was the domestic aspect and the possibility that there could be custodial interference,” Detective William Reid said.
Reid said an Amber Alert —the statewide notification system to help find abducted children— could not be issued because of the circumstances.
“An Amber alert was not issued because everything indicates that the children were not abducted,” he said. “The children by all accounts are very intelligent young ladies albeit that they are 12 years old. …Obviously, the young age adds a level of concern in our eyes. We believe at this time it is custodial in nature and that there are family members possibly assisting keeping the children out of sight.”
The sixth-graders, who can be seen in a November photo holding up awards for making the honor roll, were supposed to get on their school bus Tuesday and head to Forest Glen Middle School in Coral Springs. But they never showed up, police said.
I want y’all to be safe and I want you home with me. Please come home.
Rickey McClamm, the Coral Springs father of two 12-year-old twin girls who are missing
McClam told police that the twins’ mother, Natonia Dutes, was in town from New York over the weekend and spent Sunday with the girls. When she dropped them at their father’s Coral Springs apartment Sunday, the pair argued.
Dutes and McClam “got into a verbal argument in front of the girls about visitation,” an officer wrote in an incident report.
McClam also told police that Rickhia was “verbally disrespectful to him,” and then he yelled at her about her behavior.
On Monday, McClam left at 6:45 a.m. for work as he typically does, but didn’t get a call from his daughters at 8:20 a.m. like he was supposed to. McClam later learned Dutes picked the girls up without permission and took them to school, according to police.
When the girls arrived at school, Dutes and the twins spoke to the school counselor. “During that conversation it is believed that the girls made mention of possibly running away,” the officer wrote in the report. Dutes left the school and the girls remained.
Tuesday, McClam again left for work at 6:45 a.m. His mother spoke to the girls over the phone at 7:12 a.m., according to the incident report. They never called their father at 8:20 a.m.
McClam rushed home to find the apartment door unlocked, and the girls not there. He saw the school bus leaving and assumed they were on it. When he returned home from work at 3:30 p.m., he found the note.
“The note says goodbye and alludes to them running away due to unrealistic standards from their father,” an officer wrote in the report.
McClam called the school and learned the girls never showed up. He called police, who confirmed that Dutes left for New York Tuesday.
Reid said they have since checked about seven addresses of family members in Broward and Palm Beach.
We do not believe right now that the girls are on the street, but of course the longer two 12-year-old girls are out there on their own, it opens up the possibility for unforeseen circumstances … to occur and maybe put them in a bad situation,” Reid said. “We believe they are being concealed from us intentionally but at this point I don't have anything to back that up other than speculation and from some interviews.”
McClam offered $1,000 reward for information leading to find them: “I want y’all to be safe and I want you home with me,” he said as he broke down.“Please come home. I need you to come home.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Michelle Kull at 954-344-1800.