Greenville, TX

MISSING IN AMERICA: 16 Year old vanishes after fleeing abusive 31 year old boyfriend

April McAbee
Danielle Owens. 16 years old. Brown Hair, Blue eyes, 5"1 and 120 lbsPhoto byGreenville Police Department

According to posts on social media on Thursday, family, friends, and volunteers are organizing a search party for the missing 16-year-old Danielle Owens after she was last seen on December 11, 2022, in Greenville, Tennessee. 

The story surrounding Danielle's disappearance and the search for the missing teen is one that has not received much press, and the family is desperate to get people to help them search for her.  A few Tik Tok accounts and Youtube channels have tried to share information, but local media is all but missing in this case. 

In fact, when researching her disappearance, I was only able to find two articles about this case, and one was a short one-paragraph announcement of a prayer vigil that the family held last week.  The family has not given up hope that Danielle will be found alive, and they are asking for volunteers to help search one of the last known locations where Danielle was seen. 

It’s been reported, but was not confirmed, that the last sighting of her was with another grown man, a “friend,” 32-year-old Cody Wilburn. Both are claiming to have no idea or information on where she is or has been.

Danielle was in the custody of the Tennessee Dept of Children's Services when in November 2022, she ran away. Because she was reported as a runaway, and the case is still open, the family says that local media will not air her story. It has been difficult to get the attention needed in their quest to locate Danielle.

According to the family, for three weeks after she ran away, she kept in touch with her family and friends. Danielle was always active on social media and used Facebook messenger to communicate daily.

But on December 11, 2022, That all changed. Danielle and her much older boyfriend, David Dabbs, 31. got into a physical altercation.

After David choked her, his father called the police, and before the police arrived, Danielle “ran off into the woods” from home. When officers arrived, Danielle could not be located; however, officers found one of Danielle's shoes in the front yard. 

The family was told that it was possible that Danielle was later seen with another “friend,” 32-year-old Cody Wilburn. The story surrounding her being with him and where she went from there has been changed numerous times.

Dabbs was taken into custody and is still in custody for non-related charges. Law enforcement did not see Danielle when they arrived there that night. No one has not seen or heard from Danielle since.

The family said it is unusual for Owens not to contact anyone for a long period of time.

According to The Greenville Sun, Richard Hinkle is Danille's’ grandfather and has been her guardian since she was six years old.

“This is not like her,” Hinkle said. “She will call me when she will call no one else.”

“It’s out of character for her to not be in touch with anybody” for this length of time, Kim Carraway, the teen’s aunt, added.

Messer said her daughter has been in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services for the past year.

“We need to get it out there that she’s missing,” Messer said.

Greeneville Police Department Capt. Steve Spano said there is an active missing person report through the National Crime Information Center database from Owens’ original disappearance on Nov. 17.

“We’re following up on leads when we get them,” Spano said. “There is an active report filed for her.”

Spano said the original missing person's report filed back in November is still active.

“We know she’s out there somewhere and that someone knows something — and we need her found,” Carraway said.

Danielle is approximately 5’1” - 5’4” (different heights reported) and weighs approximately 120 lbs. She has brown/blonde hair and blue eyes and may be wearing black glasses.

If you have any information on Danielle’s disappearance or know where she is, please contact the Greene County TN Sheriff's Department at 423-798-1800
16 years old. Brown Hair, Blue eyes, 5"1 and 120 lbsPhoto byGreenville Police Department

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April is the managing editor for Citizen Stringer and is passionate about providing honest and trustworthy information through her writing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother who cares about the future we leave our kids and grandkids.

May, TX

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