12-year-old Houston girl found unharmed after going missing for a week: Report

News & Politics

A 12-year-old girl who suddenly went missing from the Houston area has been found unharmed, according to the authorities in Houston. E’minie Hughes was last seen on February 22, and the Houston Police issued an Amber Alert shortly after on Wednesday.

When authorities issued the Amber Alert, they operated under the assumption that the young girl could have been trafficked, according to CNN. The authorities noted that Hughes was found in Columbus, Texas, which is about 73 miles from the Houston area where she initially went missing.

After the girl was found, FBI Houston posted an update on X, writing: “FBI Houston is proud to have helped rescue yet another missing child. Two kids recovered in two days. Partnerships.” The police did not release any other information about finding Hughes.

They said the investigation is still ongoing.

When Hughes went missing on February 22, the Houston police initially believed she disappeared on her own. However, the police reportedly obtained new information that led them to believe that the young girl could have been trafficked. The authorities did not reveal what information led them to believe this.

Another report mentioned that Hughes could have been using a social media app known as Tagged, and the authorities believed she could have been in Missouri City, which is located in the Houston metro area.

The social media platform’s website says that it “focuses on connecting people for friendship or dating through features like Browse, Meet Me and Live.” Tagged’s parent company, The Meet Group, told CNN that they contacted the House police to offer assistance in any way they could.

Before she was found by the police, Hughes was last seen getting into a dark-colored four-door Dodge pickup around 1:40 a.m., according to the Amber Alert.

“Our terms and conditions prohibit minors from using our apps, and we utilize both technology and manual analysis to help check for minors who may have registered for our platform using a false age,” the company said.

“Should we be made aware of any attempts to circumvent our process, we thoroughly investigate any report involving a possible minor user or child exploitation.”

It is not clear why Hughes was on Tagged in the first place. The investigation into why the girl went missing is still ongoing.

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