A Lexington teenager who has been missing for about 10 months has returned home safely, Lexington Police and Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Monday morning.
The girl was reported missing on July 1 and was 16 at the time, according to the attorney general’s office. The Lexington Police Department launched an investigation and worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at the time. A poster of the missing child was produced and shared on social networks.
Cameron’s office worked with the two agencies to help highlight the missing teenager on social media.
“We are extremely grateful to see a Missing Kentucky child in his family, and we appreciate the partnership with Lexington Police and NCMEC that helped ensure his safe return,” Cameron said in a statement.
Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers said the girl was recently returned to her family with help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Attorney General’s Office.
“This is yet another example of the value of agencies and the public working together to help each other,” Weathers said in a statement.
Police did not immediately disclose any information about the girl’s case, such as where she was or whether anyone had been charged in connection with her disappearance.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 64 Kentucky residents are currently unaccounted for who went missing as children. Eight of them are from Lexington.
In 2020, 365,348 reports of missing children were reported to the National Crime Information Center, according to the FBI. Missing children are often exposed to exploitation and human trafficking, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which says that one in six missing children who fled in 2020 were likely victims of sex trafficking.