A 13-year-old girl from Edmonton who had been missing for more than a week was safely located in Oregon, where a 41-year-old man is in police custody.
On Saturday morning, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) announced that following an international investigation, law enforcement arrested the man near Portland and the girl was taken to a children’s hospital for precautionary reasons.
Family members were informed early Saturday that the missing youth had been located, with his parents already leaving for Portland.
The girl, who is now unrecognizable due to being a victim of crime, went missing on June 24 with a bus to her junior high school. Her parents were informed later that she had not attended any classes in the evening.
“It was a thorough investigation from the beginning,” said the EPS inspector. Brent Dahlside.
Dahlseid, chief of Edmonton’s Major Crime Branch, said investigators were assisted by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, the FBI, US Customs and Border Patrol, Oregon City Police and Gladstone Police.
The suspect in the girl’s disappearance, who is from Oregon, is not being named until police formally charge her.
According to Dahlseed, the upcoming child molesting allegations stem from evidence collected by EPS, and are expected to be leveled by US law enforcement agencies.
“As this investigation progresses, with the support of our child protection section, I hope, there will be a number of allegations in this regard,” Dahlseid said.
“It’s a happy ending to an investigation that was exhausting, a very heavy week even for family and friends, not knowing where (she) was,” he said.
In a social media post, the girl’s father said the family members were “filled with joy and love,” thanking the efforts of community members in raising awareness about his missing daughter.
putting movements together
While the girl was found safely, Dahlseid said investigations are on to uncover all the details from the incident.
“It’s a unique test that we don’t have many times where we’re going across international borders,” Dahlside said.
“It’s unique to move from province to province, but to do something like this through our partners in the United States, is something that’s unique and takes a lot of coordinated effort.”
It is not known how the girl crossed the border into the US and how long the 41-year-old was in contact with her online.
Asked why the Amber Alert was not issued, Dahlseid said that while the criteria for the alert were not met, investigators only had details of the potentially suspicious vehicle on Friday.
At the time, EPS was drafting an alert after it was informed that the man was no longer in Canada, an alert “no longer possible,” said Staff Sgt. James Vanderland of the Historical Crimes Section of EPS.
Investigators believe the man was in Edmonton, but are still trying to trace his entire activities in Canada and outside the country.
“We’re going to be here as an investigative team to learn more in the next days,” Dahlseid said.
cast. Paul Walker with the Abbotsford Police Department confirmed to CTV News that the EPS arrived Friday, indicating the girl may be at a fast-food restaurant there.
“Our front-line officers attended the location and obtained CCTV from the business, which confirmed that the girl and the suspect were at the restaurant,” Walker said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the girl and the suspect had already left the place before the police arrived.”
Dahlseed thanked the public for all the tips provided to law enforcement to aid in the investigation.
“As the investigation progressed, we received countless suggestions from across Canada,” he said.
“I’d rather have 200 that we need to filter out and discount 199 of them in order to be able to find one and then get zero tips and literally nowhere to go.”