Girl, 14, found at California Marine base two weeks after being reported missing
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (KSWB) – A 14-year-old girl was found at a California Marin base, two weeks after she was reported missing, authorities have confirmed.
The teen was reported missing by her grandmother on June 13, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department told Nexstar’s KSWB.
A deputy with the Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Station responded to the grandmother’s home in Spring Valley on the same day to take a missing person report, the department explained. The grandmother told authorities her granddaughter ran away from home four days earlier on June 9.
The teen’s information was entered into multiple missing person databases, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). SDSO said these databases informed other law enforcement agencies of the juvenile’s disappearance.
Family Protection Detail Detectives received the case for follow-up investigation and continued working on the case, following up on potential leads.
On June 28, military police located the teen at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and informed the sheriff’s department. That information was confirmed Friday, July 7 by Melissa Aquino with the media relations office representing the sheriff’s department.
Authorities say detectives interviewed the teen and she was returned to her grandmother.
Since Camp Pendleton is federal property, the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) is handling the investigation, according to Aquino, who added that the sheriff’s department and the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force are supporting NCIS.
KSWB reached out to officials from Camp Pendleton for comment on the matter.
Capt. Charles Palmer, Director of Communication Strategy and Operations for the 1st Marine Logistics Group, confirmed that a Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group was taken into custody for questioning by NCIS on June 28 as seen in a social media post in connection to this incident.
“The incident is under investigation, and we will continue to cooperate with NCIS and appropriate authorities,” said Capt. Palmer.
It is the policy of SDSO not to release identifying information about minor victims, meaning the identity of the 14-year-old is being withheld at this time.
The identity of the Marine taken in for questioning has also not been released.
A woman claiming to be the teen’s aunt said the girl was found in the barracks and had “been sold…for sex,” Nexstar’s KTLA reports. Authorities haven’t confirmed these reports, and an investigation into the circumstances leading up to this situation remains ongoing.