Authorities say missing teen Hayleigh Wilson may be in danger, but few details are available behind the latest update in the search for the 14-year-old girl. What is known is that Wilson has been sighted in the company of a registered sex offender, and she was previously believed to have run away voluntarily with the much-older man. Have things changed in this case to indicate something different? NBC News 12 shares in a breaking report that the 14-year-old girl could be in danger, but she has already been missing for many days.
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that the 14-year-old girl has been missing now for one week, having disappeared last Monday night from her Tennessee home. Now authorities across at least three states have gotten involved in the search for her and the registered sex offender that is accused of transporting her. Authorities believe that Hayleigh Wilson is with 41-year-old Joseph “Ben” Shook. The two allegedly met online before meeting and running away together. However, authorities believe the teen is in danger, so there is a possibility that this once voluntary disappearance has taken a different turn.
Shook is currently wanted in the state of Georgia for failing to register as a sex offender. His sex offense conviction also reportedly pertains to the molestation of a child. He was reportedly convicted of the crime in 2004. Other details aren’t available online to clarify the nature of the molestation or the age of the man’s victim. It’s known that he is considered an absconded sex offender in the state of Georgia, however, and now he’s allegedly on the run with a 14-year-old girl — young enough to be his child.
It’s been a week since Hayleigh Wilson has been seen, aside from grainy surveillance footage that proves that they were seen in North Carolina. Ever since this sighting, the whereabouts of the missing teen and her adult companion are completely unknown. Nonetheless, there is hope that she will be located, and the registered sex offender who has her will be arrested and taken back to Georgia to face his warrant.
If you know anything about this disappearance, or if you think you’ve seen either of the two missing people, please do not hesitate to contact the authorities. You can dial 911 or contact the Virginia State Police or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Any information could prove useful in the search for Hayleigh Wilson.
Photo: Police handout/surveillance footage