Missing Mount Vernon teen girl found with 30-year-old sex offender hundreds of miles away

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A 14-year-old girl from Mount Vernon was found safe in Michigan on Thursday. She had been missing from her home for almost a month, according to Fox News Digital. The man who had taken her was 30-year-old Keith Freerksen, who was previously convicted of possessing child pornography in 2017.

After the authorities looked into ride-share service history, they speculated that the teenage girl could have used a ride-share service on January 5 to meet Freerksen.

“Mount Vernon has limited ride-share options, so investigators were able to locate a particular ride that Ella may have taken,” the authorities said. “Investigators were able to identify the subject ‘Keith’ who ordered that ride share for her and his address in South Haven, Michigan.”

The authorities said there was probable cause to charge the man with second-degree kidnapping since he purchased a vehicle to transport the teenage girl across state lines, according to the report.

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After the police located the girl, they immediately contacted her parents, who were reportedly “elated” with the news.

Lt. Dave Shackleton of the Mount Vernon Police Department said, “Locating {her} safely is directly attributed to the family, friends and many who showed concern and compassion for her well-being. It’s also directly attributed to our Federal, State, and Local Law enforcement partners who helped when investigative leaders went beyond our jurisdictional boundaries or abilities.”

“In particular, we thank the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office for their efforts in ultimately locating {her}.”

The teen’s mother had been working with friends to post fliers of her daughter in the area in the hopes of bringing her back safely. The mother shared with one outlet that she believes her daughter was communicating with someone over social media leading up to her disappearance.

“A couple of kids did see her speaking to an adult male on a video on our computer,” the mother said. The mother went on to say she believes her daughter met the unknown man on a social platform called Omegle, which allows users to meet random strangers.

The site shut down in November, according to reports.

“It’s like a roulette,” the teen’s mother said. “It just matches you with random people.”

Freerksen has now been charged with first-degree criminal sexual assault, failure to register as a sex offender, and contributing to delinquency with children, per reports.

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