Missing 14-year-old from Washington found in Michigan with sex-offender

MOUNT VERNON, WA – A missing 14-year-old girl from Mount Vernon, Washington, who had been unaccounted for nearly a month, was found safe in Michigan on Thursday, as per the local authorities.

The Mount Vernon Police Department successfully traced a 30-year-old male suspect, identified as “Keith,” by examining local ride-share service records. The investigation was initiated after information surfaced that the teenager might have used a ride-share vehicle to leave home on January 5.

Mount Vernon’s ride-share options are limited, which allowed investigators to pinpoint a specific ride that the girl, Ella, might have taken. The investigation led them to ‘Keith’, who had booked the ride-share for her and his residence in South Haven, Michigan.

The girl’s parents expressed immense relief upon hearing that their 14-year-old daughter had been found safe, according to the police.

The police have found probable cause to charge the suspect with second-degree kidnapping, as he transported the girl across state lines. The girl’s mother had previously informed that her daughter had been in contact with an older man on social media before she vanished on the night of January 5.

The Washington detectives coordinated with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan, leading to the suspect’s arrest at his property on the Blue Star Memorial Highway.

In Michigan, the suspect faces charges of first-degree criminal sexual assault, failure to register as a sex offender, and contributing to the delinquency of minors. The investigation into the girl’s kidnapping is ongoing.