NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A 14-year-old girl is home safe, four days after she went missing from her home in La Vergne.
She was found by an international non-profit, Hope For Justice, that investigates human trafficking.
Richard Schoeberl the U.S. team leader for Hope For Justice says it was hours of hitting the pavement and talking with people that led them to the teen.
“We go to hotels, we go to pawnshops,” Schoeberl said. “These missing runaways we know that they’re vulnerable they have no clothes, no money, no food.”
That leg work eventually got them to a lead.
“We got a call from an individual that night who said, 'hey I met you guys earlier. I spotted her I know where she’s at. I saw her get off the bus at this apartment complex and she walked up in there',” Schoeberl said.
Schoeberl and the teen’s family immediately went to that complex in Antioch, 20 miles from the missing girl’s home.
“When we located her, she was distraught. She was manipulated to stay there and not go back home,” Schoeberl said. “The person that had her kept her there knowing she was missing."
Schoeberl says statistically one in four missing teens ends up being trafficked for sexual exploitation, which he says could have happened here.
“[She] met this individual out on the street. This individual saw and exploited her vulnerability,” Schoeberl said. “Sometimes at that age, we make mistakes and we go out there and fortunately this mistake didn’t cost her, her life and it didn’t cost her being exploited.”
Metro Police are investigating this case since this teen was found in Antioch. At this time we have not heard of any charges being filed.