During runaway episodes, adolescents engage in various high‐risk behaviors and are exposed to various dangers. This situation is even more pronounced among runaway youths from residential care centers, given their personal and familial backgrounds that place them at risk. The current study attempted to disentangle the heterogeneous characteristics of runaway youths while considering the adolescent risk‐taking literature. A latent profile analysis was performed among 112 runaway youths from residential care centers based on runaway characteristics (number, duration, context of return). The Parent involvement, Independent and Police involvement runaway youth profiles were compared on various characteristics involved in risk‐taking, their high‐risk behaviors and mental health problems. The clinical implications for these three runaway profiles are discussed.