Why Was this Little Girl Missing for So Long in Plain Sight?


December 7, 2022, 1:17 am

By: ABQRAW staff

Posted: 12/6/2022 @ 6:00PM

Updated: 12/7/2022 @ 9:00AM (explain where little girl was all night & how she was located)

SE ABQ – Why was precious little 5 year old Oreyana Clinton missing for so long overnight and into the morning? We learned that last night Oreyana was reported missing after her intoxicated father showed up to a war zone shelter on Gibson without her. The father said he had no idea where his daughter was.

Oreyana was last seen wearing a blue long sleeve shirt and black jeans.

Oreyana’s father was not able to tell police what happened to her or where he last saw Oreyana.

The last location anybody saw them together was at 51st St and Central SW on the west side when they tried to board a city bus.

Oreyana Clinton was missing for several hours in plain sight

The bus driver apparently denied them a ride because the father was extremely intoxicated. A search was started by several agencies and we confirmed the local agencies involved began assisting immediately.

At 8:42AM, BCSO was asked by APD to assist in searching the area of 51st and Central and Jayme Fuller, the PIO with BCSO, confirms that they sent two units to assist.

According to New Mexico State Police spokesman, Dusty Francisico, at about 7:15AM, the NMSP were requested by APD to help them locate Oreyana. The NMSP sent an officer to assist APD.

Around 8:51AM, APD asked if NMSP could issue an AMBER ALERT for Oreyana Clinton, which they did.

At 9:22AM, APD released another statement that Oreyana Clinton was located on a bus.

At 9:54AM, NMSP and APD canceled the AMBER ALERT.

The digital AMBER ALERT poster New Mexico State Police Created for social media.

The AMBER ALERT set off a social media frenzy of people keeping a look out and sharing the digital poster of missing Oreyana. The official Facebook pages from law enforcement reached tens of thousands of people’s personal Facebook pages. Some commented that they personally went to go help look for her in the city.

Nicholas Clinton 36, of Albuquerque is the father of Oreyana Clinton.

Oreyana’s dad, has been identified as Nicholas Clinton, 36, of Albuquerque. Clinton was booked for assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest. According to the criminal complaint, Nicholas was intoxicated and belligerent with officers when they were questioning him about Oreyana being missing. He attempted to batter the officer and he was taken into custody with some use of force.


Questions remain about how Oreyana Clinton was found on the bus all alone early this morning. It’s extremely likely that she spent the night on the bus without anyone even knowing. This brings up a dilemma about who checks buses at the end of the night and how CABQ Transit clears the busses after they are out of service.

We reached out to the City of Albuquerque Transit department spokesperson and no comment was given on this case. APD also has not charged Clinton with any child abuse or neglect charges related to her disappearance.

At 5:55PM, APD sent us an email saying:

“The child was discovered about 9 a.m. on the city bus at Girard and Central Ave. She was located with an adult female. The child was put on a 48-hold with CYFD and has since been united with a family member. APD’s Victim Assistance Unit worked with the family member to get them into a hotel.

The adult female was booked into jail on a felony warrant unrelated to this incident.

The child’s father, Nicholas Clinton, was booked on misdemeanor charges and released this morning.

Detectives are working with the DA’s Office and conducting additional interviews to verify details about the child’s whereabouts through the night. Detectives are working with the DA’s Office to decide the appropriate charges against Clinton for neglecting his daughter.”

We will update this story if a spokesperson from the Transit department comments or if more charges are added to Nicholas Clinton’s case.

***We have now learned that at some point Oreyana got separated from her father and he continued on the the shelter on Gibson without her. A woman noticed the girl all alone and took custody of her and took her to her homeless encampment. The woman and Oreyana spent the night together in the camp. When morning came the woman and Oreyana caught a bus allegedly to take her to a safe place. A bus driver was suspicious about the situation and called police to investigate. Officers did locate the bus and arrested the woman for an outstanding felony warrant unrelated to Oreyana or her father. Oreyana was held by police in CYFD custody until a relative was able to pick her up.


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