An Amber Alert has been cancelled after a missing Tennessee teen was found after being reportedly disappearing on June 22. The young girl was found safe, but the details are horrifying!
Hayleigh Cheyenne Wilson, 14, was found by U.S Marshals in Smyth County, Virginia, on July 7 with convicted sex offender Benjamin Joseph Shook, 41. The pair reportedly met via Kik, an online app used for messaging. How scary!
Hayleigh and Benjamin were taken into custody around 5 a.m. on July 7 without incident, according to WATE. Thankfully, she was in good shape and didn’t appear hurt after disappearing last month in her family’s Ford Explorer.
The pair reportedly met using an online chat service. “It looks like both the child and the suspect met on an online app” called Kik, Surgoinsville Police Chief James Hammonds told the press. “These kids talking to these people on these chat apps and they really don’t know who they are talking to. It is really a dangerous thing.”
That’s not all. Aside from being very much older than Hayleigh, Benjamin is reportedly a convicted sex offender out of Georgia. He had an active warrant out for his arrest for failing to register as a sex offender, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. So scary! It’s a miracle she wasn’t hurt.
Hayleigh’s Father Begs For Her To Be Returned Safe
Prior to Hayleigh being found, her distressed father, Eddie Wilson, made a public plea stating, “You don’t know if she’s going to be home tomorrow or a year from now,” he told WATE. “I want Hayleigh to know that we love her and we want her home. We won’t stop looking for Hayleigh.”
He added, “She’s a respectable little Christian girl but she got lured in. For Hayleigh’s sake I just ask you to be man enough to bring her home safe. Just let her out and go your own way, but bring my little girl home.”
Thankfully, Hayleigh is now safe and sound.
HollywoodLifers — do you think teens should be allowed to use messaging apps? Sound off below!
— Brittany King