Missing 14-year-old Snohomish girl found alive

Missing 14-year-old Snohomish girl found alive
The store in Lynnwood where a missing 14-year-old girl was located.
LYNNWOOD, Wash. - A 14-year-old developmentally disabled girl who disappeared while riding her bicycle has been located, and police have arrested a 60-year-old man they believe was with her.

Officers found the girl on Thursday morning at the Grocery Outlet store in the 19800 block of 44th Avenue West after an employee there recognized her from social media reports and called police.

She had been in the company of a 60-year-old man, who was taken into custody by Lynnwood police for an outstanding trespassing warrant, said Shari Ireton of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office. The relationship between the man and Harwood is unknown at this time, she said.

Ireton said the girl appeared to be uninjured, but was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.

The girl left her home in the 500 block of D Avenue at about noon Wednesday, telling her family she was riding her bike to a friend's house a short distance away.

But she never made it to the friend's house - and never returned home. Family members searched for the girl for hours and then called police to report her missing, triggering a search effort that began Wednesday night and continued Thursday.

Deputies say the girl has a developmental disability and has the mental capacity of a younger child.

A special unit will investigate how she ended up in Lynnwood and how she ended up in the company of a 60-year-old man, Ireton said.

Larry Brown, the manager of the Grocery Outlet where the teen was found, told KOMO News that she entered the store around 8:15 a.m., wearing a dark hat and carrying a backpack.

An employee recognized her after seeing her photo on social media and alerted Brown, who approached the teen and asked her name. When she told him, the manager's wife, who was there, called 911.

Brown said the teen told them she was with her "grandpa" and stayed overnight with him in a hotel nearby.

Officers arrived soon after and identified her as the missing teen. They then took her to the hospital for an examination.

It was not immediately clear how police identified the 60-year-old man who later was arrested.