Daphne Westbrook: Teen missing for 2 years found safe after being pulled over for busted lights
SAMSON, ALABAMA: A teenagar, who went missing two years ago, has been found safe during a traffic stop in Samson. Daphne Westbrook was found safe on Friday - thanks in part to a broken light.
The teanager was reported missing from Chattanooga, Tennessee in October 2019, with authorities believing that her father, John Westbrook, kept her against her will by keeping her intoxicated.
The discovery was accidental, as cops stopped the teenager for driving with expired tags and busted lights. The officer who stopped her realized her identity after running her through the system. It was also revealed that Daphne, who went missing two years ago, was on her way to the beach with her dog. Daphne reportedly said that she had just turned 18 and that she was "finally free".
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Samson Police Chief Jimmy Hill while speaking about the incident to AL.com said, “She seemed fine. She said she was going to the beach to enjoy herself,’’ and added, “She said she had just turned 18 and was free.” It has not yet been revealed what Daphne was free from or where she had been driving from.
Daphne was reported missing from Hamilton County and the District Attorney’s Office had continued to search for Daphne over the past two years.
Samson police informed the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office investigator upon finding her and he immediately arrived on the scene. Chief Hill said that multiple agencies including TBI, SBI were involved. Daphne was let go right after it was determined that she was in no immediate danger and she also "stated that she needed no help in any way."
Speaking about Daphne being found, the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office shared on Facebook, "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. 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. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Chattanooga Police Department."
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation posted: "UPDATE: Daphne Westbrook, the subject of an Endangered Child Alert issued under the Holly Bobo Act earlier this week, has been found safe in Samson, Alabama! Thank you for joining us in staying vigilant in this ongoing search!"
Chief of staff for the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office, Melydia Clewell, also said that the reason why Daphne was let go of was that at 18, she was considered an adult. It was also revealed that Daphne did not want to speak to her mom as she had had a falling out with her when she was in 10th grade. It was reported that the differences cropped between the two because of the importance of school. Daphne dropped out of school after 10th grade.
The statement from Hamilton County added, "That 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."