Missing Person: Alexandria high schooler disappears just before Christmas

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Local,Virginia,Crime,Scott McCabe,Alexandria,Missing Person

Joseline Zelaya Arriaza was 15 years old when her family last saw her.

It was Christmas time. Joseline was a student at Hayfield High School in Alexandria. She left her home on the evening of Dec. 22, 2011, to attend a church gathering in Alexandria.

Police said she never made it to the church, and she never returned.

Police suspect that Joseline might have left the state and traveled to New York with an adult male companion.

"We have reason to believe she is in New York in the company of a known acquaintance," said Fairfax County police spokesman Officer Don Gotthardt. "We're still investigating to positively identify her and bring her home."

The most recent photo of the girl is a blurry one of Joseline in a tiara, mostly likely from a quinceanera, a female's 15th birthday marking the transition from childhood to young womanhood.

Detectives are not sure if the disappearance was preplanned or if Joseline agreed to run away with the adult male.

Since her disappearance, there has been little information about Joseline's whereabouts. She would have turned 17 years old on Jan. 20.

Fairfax County detectives are working with other law enforcement agencies outside the area, including New York.

She is an Hispanic female, 5-foot-1 and about 150 pounds. She has brown eyes and light brown hair.

Joseline has a scar on the left side of her jaw. She was last seen wearing a white jacket and a blue skirt.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 800-843-5678 or the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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