Missing Washington teen found safe in Michigan, 30-year-old man arrested: Police

The14-year-old girl who had been missing for more than three weeks since leaving her home in Mount Vernon, was found safe in Michigan on Tuesday.

Early in the search for the girl, her mother asked for the public’s help – telling authorities that she may have left home to meet a man she had been communicating with online.

According to the Mount Vernon Police Department (MVPD), investigators learned the identity of the suspect, who was publicly referred to as "Keith."

After learning the girl may have potentially used a rideshare service – in addition to the knowledge that Mount Vernon has limited ride-share options, investigators were able to identify "Keith" who ordered a ride-share for her and his address in South Haven, Michigan.


Keith D. Freerksen (Van Buren County Sheriff's Office)

The MVPD says based on the evidence collected and that the teenager traveled across multiple states, police developed probable cause for second-degree kidnapping. Detectives then partnered with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan to investigate further.

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Investigators in Michigan then went to the Blue Star Memorial Highway property and located the girl safe and unharmed.

The 30-year-old suspect was also located, taken into custody and is now facing charges in Michigan for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, sex offender-failure to comply with registration act, and children – contributing to delinquency. 

Since there are multiple locations involved, formal criminal charging is still being coordinated between agencies, authorities say.

The MVPD said its investigators called the girl’s family immediately after finding her.

Editor's Note: FOX 13 has removed the name and images of the 14-year-old girl as she has been found and may be the victim of assault.