by Hannah Lozada
Two girls, Jade Gregory (12) and Khole Larson (14) from Gainesville, Florida, planned to drive to Louisiana to meet somebody they had been talking to online. Police stated that Jade stole her father’s Ford Taurus, then picked up her friend Khloe. On the morning of April 6, a missing children alert (image below) later broadcasted onto the news, which would spread to Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. Authorities from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI, and locals began searching for the duo, who were last seen in Lake Butler, Florida.
The two girls drove 400 miles from Gainesville, Florida, to Bayou La Batre, Alabama. They were possibly traveling on the I-10 highway intending to stop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Eventually, the girls stopped at a gas station in Alabama and saw their faces on TV. Shortly afterward, they decided to turn themselves in to the police. The Union County Sheriff’s Office stated that Jade and Khole were discovered unharmed in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, which is 400 miles away from Gainesville, Florida. After the girls were found, they were brought home and returned to their families.
Lyn Williams, the Chief Deputy Captain of the Union County Sheriff’s Office made a statement. He announced that the department predicts that the girls could’ve been traveling to meet “someone they met online.” However, it is unknown who that person is, and their age.
Authorities concluded that there wasn’t any adult with the girls, which rules out the possibility of foul play. The police state that the FBI is now investigating the case, and trying to find the person the two girls were communicating with.