Sheriff Issues Terrifying Warning To Parents After Missing Teen Rescued By Chance
A North Carolina traffic stop recently led to the recovery of a missing 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing just five hours prior to the incident. The suspect, Alejandro Hernandez Vazquez, was arrested and is now facing several charges.
At just after midnight on July 4, Nash County deputies pulled over a white Audi with Florida plates on I-95 after a traffic violation. During the routine questioning of the driver, officers developed "reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity was afoot," according to the sheriff's office.
With consent from Vazquez, officers searched the vehicle and noticed that the 16-year-old female passenger in the vehicle had been reported missing by the Coral Springs Police Department just five hours prior. The teen was taken to the Wake County Juvenile Detention Center, where her family was notified and came to retrieve her.
Vazquez was booked into the Nash County Detention Center, where he is being held on $505,000 bond. He faces charges of felony possession of synthetic cannabinoid, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after authorities found THC pens in his vehicle.
Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone stressed the importance of monitoring children's social media accounts, saying "if you're not monitoring what your child is doing on the internet, then there's the possibility that people are taking advantage of them. This older guy here was taking advantage of the 16-year-old. He was carrying her up north, and I'm sure it was not in the best interest of that girl or for society."
Tom Weitzel, former police Chief of Riverside, Illinois, commented on the value of traffic stops in apprehending suspects. "When I was chief in Riverside, we would make arrests on traffic stops all the time," Weitzel said. "…A really common arrest would be active warrants that the driver or the passenger would have. Serious felony warrants for their arrests. The apprehension of those fugitives would have been greatly delayed if police were prevented from conducting proactive traffic stops."
This recent incident in North Carolina serves as a reminder of both the value of traffic stops in law enforcement as well as the importance of parents monitoring their children's online activities.