US Marine arrested after missing 14-year-old girl found in barracks

A US Marine has been apprehended after a 14-year-old girl, who had been reported missing, was discovered inside the barracks at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego. The girl’s family alleges that she was sold for sex and raped by the Marine.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department reported that the teenage girl, who has learning disabilities, ran away from home on June 9 and was reported missing by her grandmother on June 13. After almost 20 days, military police found her inside the barracks on June 28. Casaundra Perez, the girl’s aunt, revealed in a TikTok video that she had been sold to a soldier for sex.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that the minor was discovered at the Marine base camp. The girl’s grandmother mentioned that she had previously run away but had always returned home quickly. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is leading the investigation, with support from the sheriff’s department and the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force.

A Marine from Combat Logistics Battalion 5 was taken into custody by NCIS for questioning on June 28, according to Capt. Chuck Palmer of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Logistics Group. Although the Marine has not yet been charged, a photo of him being escorted away in handcuffs by Marine Corps police circulated on social media.

Casaundra Perez accused the military of attempting to cover up the alleged rape of her niece and held the entire base camp responsible. She claimed that security personnel had allowed the Marine to bring a minor onto the base, where he engaged in sexual activity with her. Perez emphasized that due to the girl’s age, she could not have given consent.

The girl has since been returned to her grandmother. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is heading the investigation into the horrifying incident.