MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis family is breathing a sigh of relief after a loved one they thought had been swept up into sex trafficking has been found safe.
On Monday, the Memphis Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit said 17-year-old Athena Duty was picked up by her father in Warren County after she called him overnight.
The girl’s aunt, Theresa McCaslin, also confirmed the news on Facebook.
“I cannot begin to express my gratitude to every single person who shared… Went looking… And prayed. In times like this i see that there is still hope for humanity. I have never seen so many strangers come together like that and it fills my heart. You all are truly a blessing… From the bottom of our hearts… THANK YOU,” she wrote.
In a comment, McCaslin stated the teen was close to Murfreesboro when she was located.
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The announcement brings an end to an emotional situation that left McCaslin in tears Sunday when she spoke with WREG.
“My 17-year-old niece is out there with no phone, no money, no car on the streets,” she said at the time. Her niece reportedly fell in with the wrong crowd before disappearing from a drug rehabilitation center on Vance Friday.
Duty went to the facility willingly, but may have been lured away by an older man she was rumored to be seeing.
Their greatest fear was she had gotten mixed up in sex trafficking.
Several individuals Duty disappeared with had been located by the time McCaslin spoke with us. It’s unclear if any others were located with the teen in Murfreesboro.
It’s also unclear if any charges will be filed.