'We just want to be away from danger.' Missing teens with ties to Orange County reach out to News 12 for help
News 12 has now learned that two missing teens with ties to Orange County are safe but living in their car alone and afraid out of state.
They reached out to Blaise Gomez for help to share their story.
"We just want to be away from danger, and the danger is my dad,” Penny Lyles said.
The 15-year-old and her boyfriend, Jonathan Stockle, who has family in Warwick, New York, contacted News 12 late Wednesday afternoon by phone after seeing the reports on their disappearances.
'We just want both kids back safe.' Parents of missing Oregon teens with ties to Orange County speak to News 12
“He said he was going to beat Jonathan up and that Jonathan was going to have to pack his bags and leave,” said Penny Lyles.
The teens wouldn’t say where they are now. Police say they were last spotted in Nevada over the weekend, but that Penny Lyles escaped the custody of a Children and Family Services employee over the weekend.
The young couple say Penny Lyle’s father, Ryan Lyles, who they live with in Oregon, is physically and verbally abusive and that they refuse to go home.
“The worst one is when he dragged me through the gravel by my hair and ripped chunks of my hair out,” Penny Lyles says. On another occasion, "He hit me with his belt repeatedly until I couldn’t walk, and if I moved or cried, he would just do it more," says Penny Lyles.
Police in Oregon have not confirmed or commented on any abuse allegations surrounding the teens’ disappearance. Ryan Lyles denied any mistreatment in an interview with News 12 on Nov. 22. He later told News 12 not to contact him further.
The teens ran away Nov. 14 after Ryan Lyles told News 12 he texted them in school about concerns he had with messages he found about their alleged behavior and activity on his older daughter’s phone. Penny Lyles and Jonathan Stockle say they called police that day at their school, Knappa High School, for help but that police told them they didn't have enough evidence and to go home.
“I understand consequence, but the things he would do are not consequences,” Penny Lyles said. “He just hurts me really bad, and I can’t take it. I knew if I went home that was going to happen.”
The teens and Jonathan Stockle’s parents, Wayne and Jessica Stockle, say Ryan Lyles has threatened to hurt Jonathan Stockle and the Stockle family. Jonathan Stockle alleges Ryan Lyles damaged his SUV to prevent them from leaving after they called authorities and that he later thought Ryan Lyles was chasing him through the woods.
“My passenger side rear tire was deflated, and there was a key broken in my ignition,” said Jonathan Stockle.
Ryan Lyles denied he damaged the vehicle or that he was searching for Jonathan Stockle after the two disappeared.
The Stockles sent News 12 screenshots of harassing texts and direct messages they received, allegedly from Ryan Lyles. One read, “I hate that [expletive}. I hope he dies.” Another says, “I hope they shoot his [expletive].”
Wayne Stockle says he obtained a restraining order against Ryan Lyles due to the messages where he and his wife live in Thayer, Missouri.
The Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office has both teens listed as missing and say Jonathan Stockle, who is legally an adult but goes to school with Penny Lyles, is not in trouble. They are asking anyone with information about the case to call them at 503-325-2061.
“We just want to live a normal life,” Jonathan Stockle said. “We just want to be OK and not have to worry about getting hurt or abused or being mentally destroyed.”
Police in Oregon have not returned News 12’s repeated calls for information about the case.