12-Year-Old Florida Girl Steals Dad’s Truck-Takes Friend with Her to Meet Online Predator
Florida Girl Jade Gregory, 12, of Union County, stole her parent’s truck and picked up her 14-year-old friend Khloe Larson to meet an online predator in Louisiana, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
Gregory was reported missing last week. She was last seen in the area of Main Street and County Road 237 in Lake Butler sometime after Gregory hopped behind the wheel of her dad’s pickup on Wednesday. Shortly after, she went by her older friend’s residence to take her along for the ride.
According to the sheriff’s office, the two children had corresponded with an unknown person online and planned to meet him in Louisiana.
Their disappearance set off an Amber Alert, with their images broadcast across billboards and television screens across several Southern states.
Gregory and pal Larson made it more than 400 miles from union county, Florida, to Alabama before being found safe by authorities. The girls were later shocked to see their images on television in an Alabama convenience store — and eventually decided to turn themselves into local police.
‘We have canceled our active missing children alert,’ the Union County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement Thursday morning shortly after the girls were found.
‘Jade Gregory and Khloe Larsen have been located safe in Bayou La Batre, Alabama,’ the statement posted to the department’s social media stated.
‘Many thanks to the multiple agencies involved throughout Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana, including the FBI and FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement).
‘Thank you for all the tips and information received.’
Deputies said an adult did not accompany them during the trip, and they had voluntarily left their homes.
The FBI is involved with the case and is investigating a person they believe the two girls were planning to meet.
PLEASE SHARE!#FLMissingChild Alert for 12yo Jade Gregory & 14yo Khloe Larsen, last seen 11300 block NE CR 237, Lake Butler, FL. May be in black 2016 Ford Taurus, FL tag BWKU59. May be heading west on I-10 to Baton Rouge area. Contact Union Co SO at 386-496-2501 or 911. pic.twitter.com/uASUwZd9rc
— FDLE (@fdlepio) April 6, 2023
The two have been safely returned to their families in Florida, police said.
Authorities are investigating if a possible child sex trafficker lured the runaways.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there were 19,000 reports of child sex trafficking across the nation in 2022.
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