DENVER — Denver Police (DPD) said Monday that a 16-year-old girl who was supposed to meet her family at Denver International Airport (DIA) after returning from a trip last Monday is believed to be "voluntarily refusing to return home."
"[DPD] investigators have made progress in the case and while her whereabouts remain unknown, it is believed that she is voluntarily refusing to return home. Investigators are currently working to gather more information to locate her and make sure she is safe," DPD said in an emailed statement.
Whitney Lulloff was last seen walking east on 61st Avenue from the 61st Avenue/Pena station, according to a DPD spokesperson.
DPD said it's unclear why she boarded that train and traveled to the 61st Avenue/Pena station, which is the closest to the airport.
"I feel like I can literally collapse because this is so scary, or I can pick it up and be strong and find her," Karen Kopp, Whitney's mother, told 9NEWS.
A missing person poster shared on social media by family members says Whitney could have blond or black hair. Kopp said that her daughter was wearing new clothes and a dark-colored wig when she got off the plane at DIA. According to Kopp, she was also carrying a different suitcase than the one she left home with on Dec. 19. Kopp said she was unable to reach her daughter's phone. It was later found on a plane in Las Vegas.
"This is past her capability to have planned stuff and it seemed like there was an element of fear for her," Kopp said.
DPD investigators are attempting to locate her and ensure that she is safe.
Anyone who might have information about where she is should contact DPD at 720-913-7867.
The FBI's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force said they are assisting DPD with the investigation, as needed.
Whitney's family told 9NEWS they are grateful to law enforcement for their efforts to locate the 16-year-old.
> Top stories curated daily just for you! Sign up for the 9NEWSLETTER to get can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Local stories from 9NEWS