GARLAND COUNTY, Ark. (KARK) – The 17-year-old Arkansas girl who was reported missing Tuesday has been found safe, officials say — hours after a $10,000 ransom was demanded for her return.
Arkansas State Police say the girl went missing after leaving her workplace in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on Monday night. Authorities said she and a coworker were walking to their vehicles when they met an unknown white woman standing near a parked vehicle.
Investigators said the woman asked the girl if she could use her phone, saying she was lost and her parents were staying in a condo in Hot Springs.
Authorities said the woman then told the victim she needed to use the GPS coordinates and asked the girl to walk closer to the woman’s vehicle.
At this point, police report the victim’s friend said she’d gone to retrieve her own vehicle in a nearby parking garage. When the friend pulled back around to pick up the victim, she was nowhere to be found.
According to authorities, the friend tried to call the victim with no answer. She then called the victim’s mother to inform her.
Investigators said the victim’s mother called her daughter’s phone and first heard her daughter’s voice saying, “Everything is fine,” then, a male voice demanded $10,000 for her return. The man said they would kill and cut up her daughter if they didn’t get the money, officials reported.
Authorities said the phone then went dead and no contact was made after.
Tuesday night, Hot Springs police confirmed they had located persons of interest and a vehicle they had been searching for in connection to the case. Additional details are expected to be released Wednesday morning.