A reward for information leading to the whereabouts of 25-year-old Kenna Harris, a Monroe, Washington woman missing since March, has been increased to $20,000, her mother Kelli Harris told Dateline.
“We’re hoping this reward money will encourage people to come forward with information,” Kelli said. “Any tiny bit of information would help.”
Kenna, who has been missing since March 31, 2020, suffered a traumatic brain injury in a high-speed rollover crash six years ago and has been living with her family in Monroe, Washington ever since.
Her mother told Dateline that Kenna was scheduled to go to work at Walmart on the day she disappeared. A DART bus for those with disabilities arrived at Kenna’s house to pick her up, but she was already gone.
Kelli was not home that day, but said a neighbor saw Kenna around 11 a.m. carrying a backpack and yoga mat.
“She did say she wondered why Kenna had her yoga mat,” Kelli said. “Because no yoga classes were being held. Everything was shut down because of the virus.”
Kenna’s family was immediately concerned for her safety and called the police.
Detective Dave Fontenot with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office told Dateline he has never seen a missing persons case where the person just seemingly vanished into thin air.
“It’s so perplexing,” Det. Fontenot said. “We’ve searched the area. We’ve checked surveillance videos from buses and businesses. These days there are so many electronic footprints. But there’s nothing that has led us to Kenna.”
Det. Fontenot told Dateline that they have records of Kenna going to Chase Bank in Monroe around noon and withdrawing about $200 from her bank account. He added that on April 2, Walmart direct-deposited Kenna’s paycheck, but her account hasn’t been accessed since the day she disappeared.
He said Kenna then got on a Community Transit bus and rode it to the Snohomish Shopping Center on Bickford Avenue. Her phone last pinged just after noon, a time when she would have still be on the bus, police believe. She was then seen at a Subway sandwich shop around 1:15 p.m., but left without ordering food. And that’s where the trail ends.
Det. Fontenot told Dateline that the security video they gathered from the area shows no footage of Kenna leaving the area.
Search teams used drones and dogs to search the wooded area near the shopping center, but found no sign of Kenna.
“The hardest part is that there’s no evidence of a crime,” Det. Fontenot said. “In the videos, it just looks like she’s a teenager running away. But her mental state makes us concerned for her safety.”
Kenna’s mother Kelli told Dateline she believes her daughter got in a car with someone she thought she recognized or who she thought looked friendly.
“Since her accident, she has struggled with decision making and her memory,” Kelli said. She added that just looking at her, someone would have no idea that she had a brain injury but once they start talking to her, she acts like someone of 14 or 15 years old.
The crash that Kenna was in six years ago changed her life. She was driving her car at a high speed when it crashed and rolled multiple times. The traumatic brain injury she suffered was one from which the doctors thought she would never recover, Kelli told Dateline.
“We never gave up on her,” Kelli said. “There were a lot of bad days but also a lot of good days. And she came through it.”
Kenna made a miraculous recovery and was sent to live at home under the care of her parents.
“She has a larger-than-life personality and she’s so much fun to be around,” Kelli said. “She’s independent and self-sufficient. But because of the brain injury, she does have bad days. She’s up and down.”
Kelli told Dateline that on the day Kenna disappeared, she had told her father she didn’t want to go to work. She said he encouraged her to go and she got mad and left.
“The way she was acting was like a teenager,” Kelli explained. “And it was impulsive. It’s part of her brain injury.”
She worries that this is what got Kenna into an unsafe situation.
“If she found a place to stay and she is safe, then I understand that,” Kelli said. “But we just want to know that she is OK. For Kenna to go from calling me 6 or 7 times a day to nothing is just heartbreaking. Something isn’t right.”
Kelli adds that it’s unusual for Kenna to not be in contact with the family, but is holding out hope that her daughter is safe and that she will come home soon.
Her family, along with Crime Stoppers, is offering a reward of $20,000 for information that leads to Kenna’s whereabouts.
Detective Fontenot told Dateline that there haven’t been many tips or leads lately, but they follow up on every one that comes in.
“It only takes one good tip,” Det. Fontenot said. “It hurts my heart every day that we don’t find her, but we haven’t given up.”
A Facebook group “Please Find Kenna Harris” was created to help spread information about Kenna’s case.
“We just hope that someone saw her or gave her a place to stay at some point and they can tell us where she is — they can assure us she is safe,” Kelly said. “Because not knowing is the hardest part.”
Kenna will turn 26 on July 30. She’s described as being 5’8” tall, 180 pounds with short, reddish-brown hair and hazel green eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray knit beanie, dark blue jeans, a black t-shirt, black Brooks sneakers, a long black knitted scarf, and a black down waist-length jacket.
Anyone with information on Kenna’s whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 425-388-3523 or submit a tip to Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at www.crimestoppers.com or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).