Tenn. Teen Missing Since 2019 Found Safe in Alabama
An AMBER Alert for a Tennessee teen who went missing in 2019 has been canceled after she was found safe in Alabama.
Daphne Westbrook, 18, has been found safe in Samson, Ala., the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Friday. No additional details of the circumstances of her recovery have been released.
"We are thankful Daphne is safe and no longer being held by her father. It is especially gratifying to be able to tell her mom that Daphne is free and no longer being hidden," the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office said in a statement on Facebook. "This doesn't change our goal to find and prosecute John Westbrook. Our investigation remains active and we expect new developments within the next couple of weeks."
Daphne was 17 years old when she was last seen in Chattanooga in October 2019, while on a weekend visit to the home of her non-custodial father, John Westbrook, according to the TBI. John remains at large and is wanted on aggravated kidnapping and custodial interference charges.
John is believed to have drugged his daughter to control her.
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In the last contact with her daughter, mother Rhonda Curtsinger says Daphne messaged her asking permission to delay her return home by a couple of hours so she could take a walk with a dog and a friend. But Daphne never showed up.
Eight months later, authorities in Hamilton County secured a warrant that charged John with custodial interference, and last October, Daphne was added to TBI's online missing children registry.
According to Fox 13, in March, Daphne was able to send a message to a friend saying she was considering self-harm. In response, her mother spoke with the station in hopes of her daughter hearing her message.
"Please know that nobody is angry. You are so loved," Curtsinger said. "It is not your fault you are in that situation. This is not her fault. I need her to be OK. I need that. I will do everything that I can to make sure that she is."
John stands 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information, or who spots John, is asked to call 423-209-7415 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.