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Missing Teen: Layover Mystery at Denver Airport



Clear Facts

  • Harper Cadman, 15, went missing during a layover at Denver International Airport on January 30.
  • She was en route back to California after visiting Montana for mental health treatment.
  • Authorities believe she may still be in the Denver or Boulder, Colorado, area.

A teen girl who was supposed to get on a flight back home to California never made it onto the flight. The authorities said the last time she was seen was during a layover at Denver International Airport, according to Fox News Digital.

Harper Cadman, 15, went missing at the Denver International Airport on January 30, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The organization said, “Harper never got on her flight back home and is believed to still be in the Denver or Boulder, Colorado, area.”

Cadman was reportedly last seen at 8:27 a.m. when she landed in Denver on January 30 for a layover en route back to California.

Cadman’s mother, Ari Petronelli, took to Facebook, writing: “I am sick to my stomach writing this, and I never thought that I would ever have to post another missing flier of my own child but if anything this last year has taught me is that life just doesn’t make sense.”

The New York Post reported that Cadman was making her way back home to California after visiting Montana to receive mental health treatment. However, she never made it onto her United Airlines flight home.

Though the teen girl’s luggage successfully made it back to Los Angeles, she has not been heard from or seen in almost two weeks. Authorities are operating under the assumption that Cadman could be in the Denver or Boulder areas.

Petronelli wrote: “My sister and I spent last week searching Denver and Boulder, speaking with detectives, advocates, the unhoused, and ‘street kids.’”

“What we saw was a very cold, scary, and dangerous situation for anyone but especially an at-risk 15-year-old girl who was last seen wearing just a sweater with leggings and no belongings,” she added.

“Harper does not know anyone in Colorado and has only been when she was 8 years old for a vacation so she is not familiar with the area,” Patronelli said. She went on to say that Cadman has gone missing in the past.


The teen is reportedly 5’7″ and weighs 115 pounds. She has blue eyes, dyed black hair, and facial piercings and tattoos. She also has braces.

The report also mentioned that Cadman did not have a bag or anything with her at the time of her disappearance.

Clear Thoughts (op-ed)

The disappearance of 15-year-old Harper Cadman is a deeply distressing story, and our hearts go out to her family. Unfortunately, this incident also highlights the growing issue of mental health crisis among our youth.

The fact that Cadman was returning from Montana after receiving mental health treatment underscores the severity of her situation. The need for accessible and effective mental health care for our young people cannot be overstated.

As a society, we must prioritize the mental well-being of our children and teenagers. This includes providing comprehensive mental health care, destigmatizing mental health issues, and fostering open conversations about mental health.

In the meantime, let us keep Harper Cadman and her family in our thoughts, and hope for her safe return.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. BobF

    February 15, 2024 at 6:49 am

    Let me get this straight – a teen with a mental disorder severe enough that it entailed her having to go for treatment hundreds of miles from home was sent off solo? Nobody thought it might be a good idea to have an adult chaperone present, much as airlines used to require for small toddlers? Something seems wrong about that.

  2. Virginia Herbert

    February 15, 2024 at 8:39 am

    Who puts a 15 yr old mental health patient on a plane by herself? Seriously?

    • Dee

      February 15, 2024 at 11:00 am

      I agree.

    • Donna Rourke

      February 15, 2024 at 11:50 am

      Exactly ! Why was no one with her for support !

  3. Michael

    February 15, 2024 at 8:41 am

    A Teen with Mental Health issues…what is she doing traveling alone?

  4. George Tirebiter

    February 15, 2024 at 10:47 am

    A picture of the girl would be a tremendous help?

  5. Kat

    February 15, 2024 at 10:52 am

    Why in the world would someone allow her to travel alone???

  6. Season341

    February 15, 2024 at 11:34 am

    It appears that this child been “lost” before by her Mom who allows her pubescent daughter to have her face pierced and tattooed, travel alone for mental health care seemingly unable to find a psychiatrist in CA, and two weeks later blames the system? Is this bizarre story even true? If so, Mom is obviously suffering from the disease exhibited by parents who crave attention by exploiting their child. She needs psychiatric help and/or to be institutionalized for her crime.

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