The heartbroken family of a missing, vulnerable girl have uncovered chilling clues that suggest she may have been persuaded to leave the country.
On May 24, 14-year-old Ashley Bell took an exam at her school in Lawrenceville, Georgia, walked into the parking lot and has not been seen since.
Ashley was caught on surveillance footage walking to her older sister’s car in the parking lot of Parkview High School, an hour outside of Atlanta.
She placed her debit card in the windshield and slipped her backpack and laptop underneath before heading to the street, Gwinnett County Police said.
A few hours later, her cell phone was turned off. The missing girl has not been active on any of her social media since that day.
The teenager’s distraught parents said the behavior came with red flags and fears it wasn’t their idea.
“When she left, she had no money, no clothes, nothing,” her father, Ramon Bell, told the CBS affiliate WHEN.
“I just think someone coached her, that’s how I feel. I think someone coached her because she’s not getting anywhere.”
Bell told the local outlet that his daughter almost never walks the streets because it’s unsafe for a young girl.
“We really think she just talked to someone on an app and became friends with them, and then they lured her out. Because she never did anything like that,” Bell said.
With no money in her pocket and no sense of direction, officers wonder how she can make a living.
“As far as we know, she doesn’t have access to a car or cash, so we don’t know who is taking care of her or if she’s trying to take care of herself,” said Michele Pihera, a Gwinett County sergeant.
Ashley had perfect attendance at school, getting an A and was described as quiet and polite.
Her father said she enjoyed playing video games and was a bit antisocial.
She is a black woman with curly black hair and brown eyes. She is 1.70 meters tall and weighs around 75 kilograms.
Ashley was last seen in a white shirt, brown tights and white and tan shoes.
The teen’s worrying disappearance comes after nearly 30 children went missing over a two-week period in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ohio Police Chief John Majoy continues to draw attention to the unprecedented problem and strongly warns that teens on the street could be exploited by predators.
“Unfortunately, these children … become victims of sex trafficking, drug trafficking or otherwise,” the boss said NewsNation.
“So that’s certainly cause for concern.”