LAYTON, Utah, Aug. 9, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The family of a 16-year-old girl is asking the public’s help in finding their daughter, Natalee, after she ran away from a Layton residential treatment center where they say she was being counseled after a traumatic episode in her life.
The girl went missing on Thursday, Aug. 4, says a statement released by her family’s attorney, Zeke Fortenberry.
Natalee was being treated for emotional trauma after she was on a trip, and was lured away by a human trafficker. She had traveled to Dallas in April to attend a Mavericks game.
After being taken, Natalee was forced into prostitution before being recovered 10 days later by police in Oklahoma, the statement says.
“Since that time, the family has focused on their daughter’s recovery and mental health,” Fortenberry says in a prepared statement. “As a juvenile victim of sexual assault, the family has worked to keep their daughter’s name, photograph, and identity as private as possible.
“Today that changes, because the family needs your help.”
Natalee left the treatment center after a triggering event, the statement says, adding “Local police authorities were immediately notified and are actively searching for her.”
Natalee’s mother pleaded for help in the released statement.
“I’m worried about her. She has been through so much, I just want her to be found safely. I love her with all my heart and will not give up looking for her until she is found.”
The missing teen’s father asked people to report possible clues.
“I’m asking for people to help us look for her. Be aware of your surroundings, look around and see if you notice her, even the smallest clue or piece of information may be helpful to the authorities.”
Anyone with information on the missing girls whereabouts is asked to call the Layton City Police Department at 801-497-8300.
The attorney’s statement also asks people to spread the word.
“If you are on any social media platforms, please share this message using #FindNatalee to bring awareness to this urgent situation.”