Missing 12-Year-Old Girl, Believed to be Kidnapped, Found Safe and Sound
The Shreveport Times via YellowBrix
July 22, 2010
SHREVEPORT, LA – The 12-year-old Shreveport girl who went missing for several days is home safe after her father picked her up from a convenience store early Wednesday.
After pushing for the public’s help in finding Amber White, police are being tight-lipped about the facts of the case. However, they confirmed the girl’s father picked her up and never contacted authorities.
Amber had no visible signs of injury or abuse and was examined at a local hospital after leaving police headquarters. By Wednesday afternoon, she was back home with her family.
Her father, Lee White, said he wanted to spend quality time with his daughter after living nearly three days without knowing her whereabouts.
The girl and her father stood on their west Shreveport porch and watched as afternoon showers soaked the ground.
“She’s doing about as good as to be expected considering the circumstances,” the father said. “She’s a little angry, scared and hurt. I don’t want to talk much about it, but I will say that at no time did she go on her own free will. They took her from here.”
Lee White’s heart is filled with joy and shades of pain, he said, after hearing his daughter’s story.
“I’m relieved but at the same time I’m hurt and pissed. When I saw her, I just grabbed a hold of her and didn’t want to let go. But then she told me all the things that happened to her. It hurts.”
When asked if she was OK, Amber said “I have bite marks.”
Police cited the girl’s age and the ongoing investigation as reasons to withhold some details.
“As clearly delineated by Louisiana law relative to the confidentiality of crime victims who are minors, we are extremely limited in the extent of what we can tell you regarding the direction our investigation will take us from here and that is as it should be,” Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw said.
Police received a tip to CrimeStoppers about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday that Amber was at Triple J in the 8900 block of Mansfield Road looking for a ride home. She was gone when police arrived. Police called the tipster back and found out the tipster had called the girl’s father before CrimeStoppers was called, Shaw said.
Investigators contacted her dad who said he was taking her home. Police ordered the father to meet them at a location in west Shreveport, and the girl was taken to police headquarters where she and her father met with investigators, according to police.
Amber’s parents notified police late Sunday after she didn’t return from a neighborhood pool. Two people reported seeing the girl get into a vehicle near her residence in the 6900 block of Buncombe Road. Police, refusing to call her a runaway, will only say she was missing and is a victim. They will not confirm whether the girl willingly got into the vehicle.
“We will not lose sight of the fact that at the heart of this case is a 12-year-old little girl, who, no matter where our investigation leads us, is the true victim, and we will treat her with all of the respect due a child who has been victimized,” Shaw said.
Charges against Henry Lee, one of two men arrested Monday in connection with Amber’s disappearance, have been upgraded to include aggravated rape, according to authorities. Rape of a child under the age of 13 carries a sentence of life in prison.
Caddo Parish district attorney’s office is working with police in its investigation.
“While this is a success story that Amber has been returned to her parents, this story is far from over,” said Caddo District Attorney Charles Scott. “These are serious charges for predators that harm a 12-year-old girl.”
Brandon Player, 19, also was booked Monday on a contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge. Player was the driver of a dark blue 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass that Amber was seen getting into, police said. Officers later located the car abandoned in a parking lot on Milam Street and impounded it.
More arrests are expected.
“If you have helped keep Amber away from her parents, we are coming after you,” the chief said. “We are going to put you in jail.”