A 14-year-old girl who disappeared almost three weeks ago was found alive, 700 miles from home. Now her adoptive father is under arrest on suspicion of raping her.
According to an ABC News report, the girl (who is not being identified) was found in Wisconsin, far from her home in Tennessee. The adoptive father, Randall Pruitt, is not believed to be involved in her disappearance, but he is in custody.
“He was arrested and charged with rape. We don’t believe at this time that he had any connections to her being a runaway or missing,” Monroe County Sheriff Tommy Jones told reporters.
The girl’s mother told authorities she last saw her on January 13 before she went to bed after 11:00 p.m.
Sheriff Jones said that the girl has family in Wisconsin, but did not believe she was with them when she was found. He would not identify who she was with though, stating that there is still and ongoing investigation that could lead to more arrests.
Pruitt’s arrest came days after he appeared on television, emotionally hoping for the girl to come home. Authorities indicated that they believe the girl left home to escape her home situation.
In the meantime, the girl appears to be doing okay.
“She is safe. She is in custody so that’s a very good ending to this as far as we’re concerned,” Sheriff Jones said. “She’s had shelter, she’s been eating and , according to the information that we got back, she’s doing fine.”
This is the second recent case of a missing teen girl being found alive after vanishing. Jayme Closs, 13, disappeared in October 2018 after her parents were killed, only to be found in January, far from home but safe and in good health. Her alleged captor, Jake Patterson, 21, was arrested and allegedly confessed to the kidnapping and murders.
[Image via ABC screengrab]