12-year-old steals dad’s car, drives 400 miles to meet someone she met online, sheriff says

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 11:52 AM EDT
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BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (WALA/Gray News) – Two Florida girls, ages 12 and 14, were found safe nearly 400 miles from their home after officials said they took a vehicle to drive to meet someone they met online.

According to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the girls were reported missing April 5 from their home in Lake Butler, Florida.

Deputies said the 12-year-old girl stole her father’s car and headed toward Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with her 14-year-old friend.

However, the girls ended up about 200 miles short of their destination when authorities located them in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, on April 6.

Still, the Alabama town is nearly 400 miles from their home in Florida.

Investigators said they were driving to meet someone they met online. The FBI is now trying to find out who the girls were going to meet.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office said multiple agencies were involved in the search, including from Florida, Alabama and Louisiana.

No further information was available.