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

UPDATE - Law Enforcement Says They GOT HER!

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Around 460,000 children are reported missing annually in the United States, but the vast majority are located by authorities and parents. This was true for a recent incident involving a 12-year-old who disappeared in Texas.

The Houston Police Department issued an Amber Alert for E’minie Hughes on February 22. She was last observed around 1:40 a.m. entering a vehicle. Law enforcement released footage from a neighbor’s security camera depicting the child entering a Dodge pickup truck parked outside her residence.

At first, the Houston Police Department expressed concerns about the possibility of trafficking involving the 12-year-old. They also indicated that she may have been using the adult dating application Tagged prior to her disappearance.

Thankfully, E’minie’s family’s hopes were fulfilled, and she has been located unharmed. On March 1, authorities declared that she was discovered in Columbus, Texas, approximately ninety minutes away from her last known location. Officers from the Columbus Police Department reported attempting to apprehend 27-year-old Sirterryon Preston on suspicion of being involved with a missing child. Preston attempted to flee, but law enforcement managed to apprehend and detain him.

He was formally charged with evading law enforcement and detained at the Colorado County Detention Facility. Meanwhile, emergency responders conveyed E’minie to Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Elizabeth Gilmore, a University of Houston-Downtown professor, cautioned parents regarding online safety. She emphasized that if children are active online or have internet access, they are susceptible to potential predators. Gilmore stressed the importance of ongoing dialogues about safety between parents and children, reassuring them that they can seek help without fear of reprisal.

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