A Tennessee girl has been found with a sex offender, prompting the cancellation of an Amber Alert that was issued for her in late June.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on Tuesday, July 7, that they had found the Tennessee girl with Benjamin Shook, 41, in Smythe County, Virginia, the Richmond Times Dispatch reports.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, 14-year-old Hayleigh Wilson left her home in Surgoinsville on June 22 and was spotted the following day at a Wal-Mart in Marion, North Carolina, with Shook.
— WBIR Channel 10 (@wbir) July 7, 2015
Wilson was seen at the time with 41-year-old sex offender Benjamin “Ben” Shook, from Georgia, who was wanted for failing to register as an offender. Shook was previously convicted of child molestation in Georgia in 2004, and is listed on the Georgia Sex Offender Registry as an “absconder,” Times News reports. He is currently out on parole, with ten years left on his 2004 sentence.
— Bethany Teague WSLS (@bteaguewsls) July 7, 2015
Surgoinsville police chief James Hammonds said that Hayleigh met Ben online. Hayliegh the allegedly stole her step-dad’s vehicle and met him at an undisclosed location. They were caught on video together when Hayleigh tried to use her step-father’s credit card at the Marion, North Carolina, Walmart.
US Marshals Service located Hayleigh Wilson and Ben Shook in VA. Both taken to Smythe County Sheriff’s Office. pic.twitter.com/LJ3A0rA94l
— Kelsey Leyrer (@WVLTKelsey) July 7, 2015
The pair was located by the U.S. Marshalls Service early Tuesday morning, and both have been taken to the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office in Marion, Virginia. Shook is currently being interviewed by the police to find out the happenings of the past two weeks. While Hayleigh appears to be safe and unharmed, she was undergoing a physical evaluation as a precautionary measure, ABC affiliate WKRN-TV Nashville reports.
Last week, the U.S. Marshalls announced that they would be offering a $5,000 reward to any information leading to the whereabouts of Hayleigh. Currently, the details regarding her discovery are limited. A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. at the Rural Retreat rescue building in Wythe County, Virginia, where more information is planned to be revealed.
[Photo via Screenshot]