A Missing Teenager's Texas Getaway

When a teenage girl from small-town Minnesota disappeared with a man 12 years older, everyone knew where they went. So why didn't anyone look?

Robbins lived in Northern California's wine country, but the friends spoke online for two years, Robbins says, getting extremely close without ever actually meeting. Early last year, Robbins wanted to win back his girlfriend, but he didn't have a ride to where she lived, 100 miles away. So Crawford drove 1,800 miles to give Robbins a lift. Crawford ended up staying more than two weeks and spending more than $2,500, Robbins says, although he recalls someone in Crawford's family helping with expenses.

Before I leave Leslie's home, she tells me that her son doesn't even talk to Kenzie anymore. He tried to save the girl from her family, she says, even after Leslie warned him against it. It wasn't his problem, she says. Finally, Leslie says, her son listened and cut off all contact.

"Kris is a good guy," Leslie says. "He did everything he could to help her."


Before Mackenzie Foss moved from Minnesota to Flower Mound, she and the missing girl were best friends. Their friendship continued in Texas until Foss' dad, Shelby, unearthed the truth.
Jason Ryan
Before Mackenzie Foss moved from Minnesota to Flower Mound, she and the missing girl were best friends. Their friendship continued in Texas until Foss' dad, Shelby, unearthed the truth.
Kenzie was staying with her aunt Lisa (above) when she disappeared for the last time.
Mark Kartarik
Kenzie was staying with her aunt Lisa (above) when she disappeared for the last time.

The night she disappeared for the first time, Kenzie wrote her dad a note saying that she was running away. According to police, they spent that night in his car. The next day, they drove to Minneapolis and explored the city, cruising the Mall of America, spending all day walking and window-shopping. She dyed her hair bright purple, figuring everyone would be looking for a blonde.

They spent the next two nights at hotels in Bloomington, police say, before Kenzie finally called home on July 3. She was at her aunt's house in St. Paul, and she was ready to get picked up. When her dad finally got there, Crawford was nowhere to be found.

Not long after they got back to Marshall, a local police officer was patrolling the area near Kenzie's home when he noticed a man wearing a black hoodie — an odd sight on a 75-degree night, balmy by Minnesota standards. The officer approached the man, who said his name was Jude and that he didn't have identification. But the officer recognized him as Kristopher Crawford.

It turned out that three nights before, the same cop had come across Crawford in a Buick with Kenzie. He'd warned Crawford about the legal dangers of trying anything sexual with the girl, and told him it'd be best if he left Marshall that night. The officer also called Crawford's mother, back in Texas. She knew he was in Minnesota, she said. She told the officer that her son had been assaulted in Iowa and had driven to Marshall to get medical treatment.

Now, here Crawford was again, three nights later, lurking near the little girl's house on the heels of their three-day Minnesota getaway. He arrested Crawford on suspicion of deprivation of parental rights, for aiding the escape of a runaway. The officer confiscated Crawford's phone as he handcuffed him, and found that Kenzie was calling Crawford even as the officer held the phone

At the station that night, the police tried to decipher just what had gone on between Crawford and Kenzie. She told police they didn't have sex. He seemed to dodge the question.

"Did you sleep in the same bed at the hotels?" the officer asked Crawford.

"Is that considered sexual?" Crawford shot back. "What's the difference of sleeping on the same floor?"

Crawford would eventually be released on bail and, everyone assumed, would slink back to Texas until his first court appearance. For the three days he spent behind bars, a friend says, Kenzie wept in one of his hoodies and Pac-Man pajamas he bought her from the Walmart. She was grounded by her dad. He even took away her computer and cell phone, leaving her only with her PlayStation 3.


Three days after Crawford was released, Kenzie's dad sent her to live in St. Paul with her aunt Lisa. Lisa, whose sister was Kenzie's mom, is a high school drug counselor, so she was off the month of July and could watch Kenzie. Even better, they adored each other. As Kenzie grew and budded, she had developed a striking resemblance to her mother. Lisa especially loved her niece's hair — so blonde it was almost white, just like hers, and just like her sister's.

"She's all I have left of Amy," Lisa says.

Kenzie got sent to live with Lisa after her dad found out she was messaging Crawford on Facebook through her PlayStation. Crawford was served with a harassment restraining order. Still, keeping Crawford and Kenzie apart proved almost impossible.

In St. Paul, Kenzie used Lisa's phone to access Facebook and YouTube. Crawford made a YouTube video of Kenzie to the song "Wurk it Till it Hurt," uploading suggestive photos she'd sent him. Her parents deleted her Facebook account, so the couple took to other sites. Correspondence shows them talking about the future, when they'd be married. They would work at a hotel together. He'd mix drinks at the bar. She'd be a maid.

After a month she moved back to Marshall for the start of 10th grade, but their relationship continued. She was skipping class to go to the library to use the public computers. Crawford did his part, too. At one point, he had three cell phones to speak to Kenzie. Her parents found texts on Kenzie's phone from Crawford, and discovered that he'd purchased a phone with a Marshall area code. In Yahoo! conversations, he guided the young girl through ways to cover her tracks when they talked.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
Give it a rest!
Give it a rest!

You are either ignorant of TX law or you've been the not so innocent teen girl as well. If you are a minor in TX you cannot consent to any physical relationship. I'm sorry but a grown man, no matter how immature, is still a man. NOT a boy. The legal age of consent in MN is 16! If he was doing nothing wrong them why manipulate her into crossing multiple state lines which is a federal felony?! Obviously he knew what he was doing. Isolate the girl from any family and you have complete control. Pedophilia much???

Jeremy Morgan
Jeremy Morgan

Both are in custody. Thanks from MN.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I'm glad she's been found and wish you best of luck.

ConcernedDad
ConcernedDad

Glad she's been found. 16 yr old kids make dumb mistakes and don't understand what love is or how relationships work, its part of being a teenager. 28 year old men should know better however, he is a child predator and I hope he gets more serious charges since it appears he kidnapped and raped this girl over a period of several months. Shame that the authorities did nothing about this for so long when everyone knew she was with him.

Just A Girl.
Just A Girl.

The ignorance behind that comment is kind of ridiculous. Sorry, but it is. In no way does this article say that he raped her, and either way rape is without consent of the other person. If the girl was as in love with this man as the article claims she was and agreed to it, it's not rape, but nowhere does this article say they were intimate. On another note, it doesn't state that he kidnapped her at all. Nobody is looking at this story from both sides, they're just looking at it from the whole "he's a 28 year old man which automatically makes all of this his fault because we find this morally unacceptable, so the 'innocent' little 16 year old girl did nothing to try to get close to him and to be with him". It should be looked at from both angles, not just his. According to the article, she WANTED to be with him, very badly. That doesn't mean he kidnapped her. Again, if it's within her own interests that she wanted to be with him, then it's not kidnapping. It's kidnapping if he just took her from the streets and she wasn't even aware of what was going on. If the girl truly found herself as in love with this guy as the article claims she was, then she would have incredible interests on being with him.

The only reason this was even an issue in the first place is because people think the age gap is "wrong". Generally, what this whole thing comes down to is what is socially or morally unacceptable by the standards of today. You are entitled to think whatever you want, but put into consideration that it wouldn't all be rested upon him. Teenagers do stupid things for love, and you can't control who you fall in love with.

Karen Spiegelman
Karen Spiegelman

Just A Girl, you are misinformed. If someone cannot legally give consent, you cannot legally have sexual relations with them, because that is legally rape. Someone below the age of consent cannot legally have sexual relations. It doesn't matter how badly a child wants to have sex with you -- if you are an adult, meaning above the age of consent, it is up to you to not perform statutory rape. Age of consent laws and classifying people as minors are arguably a bit arbitrary, but are based on the fact that teenage brains are not yet fully formed; that's why a 14-yr-old who steals from a store is treated differently from a 30-yr-old who does the same actions -- the grown-up should have more self-control. But in the end, rape is a crime because it is against the law. Argue against the reason for that law all you want, but if you are having sex with a teenager, you need to expect legal repercussions. Any way you look at this case, it's sad. The poor kid has a dead mother and a violent father, and then some 28-yr-old weirdo grooms her over the Internet and runs away with her. I hope she can make it back from her rough start. And I hope the 28-yr-old can fix himself and his life so that he can make more appropriate romantic decisions, perhaps start dating people above the age of consent.

wantgant
wantgant

OK wow so who comes up with all that stuff?Total-Privacy dot US

wantgant
wantgant

OK yeah that makes a whole lot of sense dude.www.Total-Privacy dot US

East Texas P1
East Texas P1

Please keep us informed of the updates on this.

 
Loading...