Missing 12-Year-Old Found, May Have Used Adult Dating App

(UnitedVoice.com) – Approximately 460,000 kids go missing in the United States every year. Authorities and parents find nearly all of those children. That was the case for a 12-year-old who went missing in Texas recently.

On February 22, the Houston Police Department issued an Amber Alert for E’minie Hughes. She was last seen at about 1:40 a.m. that day getting into a vehicle. Authorities released a video captured by a neighbor’s surveillance camera, which showed the child getting into a Dodge pickup truck outside of her home.

About a week into the girl’s disappearance, her mom, Shannon Williams, told KTRK, “I want my baby home.” E’minie’s grandma, Joyce Williams, begged whoever had her to “send her home.”

Initially, the Houston Police Department worried that the 12-year-old was trafficked. They said she was also possibly using an adult dating app, Tagged, when she vanished.

Fortunately, E’minie’s family got their wish, and she is safe. On March 1, the police announced the girl was found in Columbus, Texas, about an hour and a half away. Columbus police revealed its officers tried to arrest 27-year-old Sirterryon Preston for having a missing child. He tried to escape, but officers captured and arrested him.

Law enforcement booked him into the Colorado County Detention Facility on a count of evading the police. First responders transported E’minie to Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Elizabeth Gilmore, a professor at the University of Houston-Downtown, issued a warning to parents. She said that if their kids are online or “have access to the internet, predators have access to” them. Parents must “have constant conversations about safety” with their kids and let them know that they won’t get in trouble.

While E’minie’s family has a happy ending, not all families are so lucky. On the same day the 12-year-old was found, police in Orlando, Florida, announced they discovered the remains of missing 13-year-old Madeline Soto. Her mother’s boyfriend, Stephan Sterns, is suspected of having killed her.

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