Blytheville teen reported missing last week found safe, returned home
LUXORA, AR (WMC) - Mississippi County Sheriff's Department (MCSD) held a press conference Friday night to announce a missing Blytheville teen with special needs was found safe and has returned home.
The high school senior was reported missing around 3:50 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17 from her family's rural residence on Highway 312, south of Blytheville.
She was found Thursday in Pierce County, Washington and brought back to Arkansas.
Two people are in custody in Tacoma, Washington and are being held on kidnapping charges pending extradition.
Pierce County Sheriff's Department said she was lured online and transported by the suspects to a cabin in the Eatonville area.
MCSD detectives found that the victim had been contacted online by a 56-year-old man from the Eatonville area, who reportedly has tried to befriend more 8,000 other children via social media.
Detectives learned that before the teen disappeared, the male suspect reportedly flew from Washington to Tennessee with an adult female companion.
The suspects reportedly rented a vehicle using fake identifications, then drove to the teen's house, where they lured or abducted her with a possible sexual motivation.
The suspects then drove her to Washington, where detectives were able to link the suspects to an address in the Eatonville area of Pierce County.
MCSD was able to obtain arrest warrants for the 56-year-old male and his 28-year-old female companion for the kidnapping and were able to determine a possible address where the suspects and victim could be located.
The male suspect's 14-year-old son was also located inside the cabin with the teen victim and the two suspects. Pierce County Sheriff's Department transported the suspect's son to a relative's house in King County, Washington.
Investigators said she was last seen around 7:30 p.m. Friday at her home. They believe she received a text message from someone with a Washington state number around 3:15 a.m. Saturday.
Relatives say the autistic teen asked her parents on Friday what the address was to the family's rural home.
The teenager told friends at her high school she had been communicating with a man and a woman on the internet.
"One of her friends said someone befriended her on the internet and he said he was going to come down to see her," relative Mary Lynn Nicholson said.
Mugshots for the two people arrested are not available yet.
Watch the press conference below:
Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.