Teen Hiding to Avoid Arranged Marriage?

Police say a "domestic cultural issue" forced Zaineb Chaudhary to run away from home.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Zaineb Chaudhary was last seen on March 11.

    A 16-year-old girl from Skokie who has been missing for more than four weeks is believed to be staying with someone as a means to avoid an arranged marriage.

    The last time anyone saw Niles North High School sophomore Zaineb Chaudhary was the day her father is said to have returned from a trip to his native Pakistan to find a potential husband for his daughter.

    She was last seen at school March 11 wearing blue jeans and a black jacket.  The next day, she called and traded text messages with friends and then disappeared.

    And yet, investigators said they're not concerned for the teen's safety.

    "We don't have any information that leads us to believe criminal intent is at the heart of this," said Sgt. Michael Krupnick.

    Instead, Krupnick said a "domestic cultural issue" is the motive for Chaudhary running away.

    Some relatives appear to agree.

    Two Facebook pages are filled with messages trying to reach out to the girl.

    "Mom and dad have been crying for you," reads one message.

    "You have made your point," reads another.

    One of the Facebook pages was created by classmate Amina Craig.

    "I just wanted her to know that there are a lot of people at school who really do care, and they do want to help," she said.

    Investigators said the length of time Chaudhary has been missing is extraordinary, which is why they now think a sympathetic friend or family member is providing shelter and support for her somewhere.