A Texas teen has been found safe after authorities say she left school and crossed into Mexico to meet a man with whom she’d been corresponding on social media.
Mexican authorities and the FBI tracked down 13-year-old Ashlee Hattermann in what became a two-day manhunt that led from her home in Katy, to the border town of Laredo and eventually to Mexico City, according to reports.
After Ashlee disappeared, a note her father said was found in her room led many to believe she was the target of human traffickers.
“We found a note in her room,” Keith Hattermann said Friday. “She calls the guy ‘daddy’ and herself ‘baby girl.'”
Hatterman said the note read “Daddy owns my body and my soul” over and over and over on a sheet of paper.
Keith and Tiffany Hattermann said they discovered their daughter was exchanging graphic images and messages to a man believed to be a 29-year-old in Mexico last spring using covert messaging apps.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Thomas Gilliland told the Houston Chronicle that Ashlee hopped on a Greyhound bus headed south to Laredo on Friday afternoon after convincing good Samaritans at a local church to buy her a ticket.
When the good Samaritans saw reports of Ashlee’s disappearance, they went to investigators with their story.
Authorities confirmed Sunday that Ashlee had crossed the border into Mexico. Authorities there located her at about 11 p.m. and alerted American officials.
Ashlee was then picked up and taken to her father, who was already in Mexico City.