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Missing 12-Year-Old Found Safe After 8 Days in Texas

Houston man arrested as police investigate alleged trafficking of girl
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2024 7:31 AM CST
Missing Girl Found Safe After 8 Days in Texas
Sirterryon Preston.   (Columbus, Texas, Police Department)

A missing 12-year-old girl has been found safe in her home state of Texas after eight days, reports KTRK. A 27-year-old Houston man has been arrested in her disappearance. The girl went missing on Feb. 22 from her Houston-area home, and neighbors' surveillance cams spotted her getting into a pickup truck. Police located her at a gas station in Columbus, Texas, on Friday, and she was evaluated at a hospital and returned home later that night, per KHOU11. Columbus is about 90 minutes from Houston.

Police arrested Sirterryon Preston at the gas station and have charged him so far only with attempting to evade arrest. "He was making a delivery," a gas station employee tells KHOU11. "He was coming out the door, going back to his truck, and I guess when he had seen all the police, he just headed off ... across the highway, and that's when they chased him and caught him." Authorities say the girl appeared to have been on the adult dating site Tagged and may have been targeted as a trafficking victim as a result, reports CNN. (More Texas stories.)

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