Missing Teen Girl Rescued After Meeting Man via Online Game, FBI Searching for Kidnapper
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While many of us spent Thanksgiving holding our family and loved ones close, others didn’t have such a positive experience. Ana Quintanilla, the mother of 14-year-old Jeimy Henrriquez, spent the weekend worrying over her missing daughter.
According to the North Miami Beach authorities, Jeimy Henrriquez left her home on Saturday to meet up with a man over 10 years older than her whom she had met through an online video game called “Free Fire Max.” Fortunately, authorities recovered the young girl in a different state within 48 hours.
North Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Rand says that the as-of-yet unnamed man traveled to Henrriquez’s home in South Florida and took her to another state.
“She was chatting with an older gentleman and made arrangements to somehow meet this older gentleman,” said Chief Rand during a press conference. “This older gentleman, and I use the term lightly, came to North Miami Beach and picked up this young girl. Fourteen years old, how disgusting.”
Chief Rand also explained that two female detectives, who also have young daughters themselves, volunteered to work the case and spent the entire Thanksgiving weekend in pursuit of Henrriquez.
“Our detectives, knowing that this was an absolutely disgusting case and it was Thanksgiving weekend, worked tirelessly, 24 hours a day, along with the FBI who immediately jumped in on this case,” said Rand.
While the girl was missing, she called her mother multiple times in tears, complaining of being cold and hungry. “She said, ‘Don’t tell police,’ and ‘This is no one’s fault,’” Quintanilla said, adding that her daughter “regrets leaving.”
Authorities used those cell phone calls to trace Henrriquez’s North Carolina location, although authorities refuse to confirm or deny where she was recovered for fear of interfering in the ongoing FBI investigation.
Jeimy Henrriquez was recovered on Sunday night uninjured and is now in the custody of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
“[Henrriquez] was found alive and well in another state, not in the state of Florida,” said Chief Rand. “We are currently working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as Homeland Security to interview anybody that had knowledge of her whereabouts or how, or when, or why she was taken from her home.”
North Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Rand says that this unsettling case should help parents remember to keep a close eye on their children during a season when adults are often occupied with other things.
“This is a stark reminder during this holiday season that we have to be mindful of what our children are doing on the internet,” he said in a statement.
Authorities have issued subpoenas for “Free Fire Max” and other social media platforms that 14-year-old Jeimy Henrriquez was using to communicate with the kidnapper.
As of now, the kidnapper is still at large and authorities are still working to track him down.