Liz Kellar

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January 22, 2014
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Family asks for help locating runaway teen

The family of a missing 15-year-old Grass Valley girl is asking for help in convincing her to come home.

Jonica Smith was last seen by her mother on Jan. 17 after she briefly returned home and then left with her mom’s Chiweenie puppy.

Smith’s mother, Debbie Prochaska, said the girl has initially run away Jan. 1. About two weeks later, she saw her on the street and called Grass Valley Police, but officers were unable to respond in time.

“She’s at risk,” Prochaska said, adding that Smith reportedly has been spending time with an 18-year-old man and taking drugs. “She’s been missing school.”

Friends have told Prochaska that Smith has been squatting or staying in a trailer in the Smartsville area.

Smith is a habitual runaway, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Joe Matteoni, noting that seven such reports had been filed in the last two months.

“We are looking for her,” he said, “We do have a BOLO out.”

Smith is 5-foot-3, weighing 115 pounds, with blond hair and hazel eyes.

She might be associated with a white 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier with back rims.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call Prochaska at 530-615-6652 or GVPD at 477-530-4600.

Contact City Editor Liz Kellar at or 530-477-4229.

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The Union Updated Jan 23, 2014 11:45PM Published Jan 24, 2014 03:10PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.