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Man arrested after teen missing from Washington state found in Michigan

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Feb. 2, 2024
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Feb. 2, 2024 04:00

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A missing teen from the state of Washington has been found in Southwest Michigan.

The Mount Vernon Police Department in Washington said it received a missing person's report on 14-year-old Ella Jones on Jan. 6. Her family reported that she voluntarily left her home with extra clothes and did not contact anyone.

In an update on Thursday, Feb.1, police said they received information on Jan. 30 about someone named "Keith," who was talked about publicly, and they allegedly ordered a ride share for the teen to an address in South Haven, Michigan.

Police said due to limited ride-share options in Mount Vernon, they were able to locate the ride Ella potentially took.

Mount Vernon police partnered with the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office to investigate, eventually locating the teen unharmed and the 30-year-old suspect in South Haven.

The suspect was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, failure to comply with Registration Act as a sex offender, and contributing to the delinquency of a child.

Police say formal charges are still being coordinated due to multiple states being involved in the case.

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