Authorities asking for public’s help to find missing teen girl

Destiny Navarette and Miguel Perez De La Cruz
Destiny Navarette and Miguel Perez De La Cruz

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s help in finding a missing 16-year-old girl who was last seen in mid-September and is believed to be with her boyfriend in the Santa Maria area.

The family of Destiny Navarette, who lives in Orcutt, reported her missing the morning of Sept. 19. She was last seen Sept. 18 at Righetti High School, where she is a student, according to a news release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities believe Navarette is with her 18-year-old boyfriend, Miguel Perez De La Cruz of Guadalupe, who has an active warrant out for his arrest for a probation violation, the release said.

There also is a current criminal protective order prohibiting De La Cruz from contacting Navarette. Earlier this year, she was reported as a runaway and was later found with De La Cruz.

“There is no information to suggest that Navarette is being held against her will,” the release said. “But the Sheriff’s Office hopes to find her and reunite her with her family.”

De La Cruz may be associated with a blue 2001 Ford minivan with the California license plate 6VUA712. The vehicle is registered to De La Cruz’s father, the release said.

Authorities believe the two teenagers may be staying in hotels in the Santa Maria area, and they have reportedly been spotted in Guadalupe, the release said.

There also was a report De La Cruz had planned to move to Oregon, the release said.

Those with information on their whereabouts are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Division at 805-934-6170. To leave an anonymous tip, call 805-681-4171 or visit www.sbsheriff.org/anonymoustips.html.