Local News

16-year-old special ed student left school event with sex offender, police say

An Amber Alert issued for a missing 16-year-old girl was canceled Wednesday after a tip led police to the home of Level 1 sex offender.

Briana Troyer was found safe with 21-year-old Terrance Powell in north Tacoma Wednesday morning.  Before that, Troyer was last seen at the Tower Bowling Lanes about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Troyer, the daughter of Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ed Troyer, is a special ed student and has the mental age of a 9-year-old. She also has a speech impediment.

The girl was participating in a bowling event for her school at Tower Lanes in Tacoma. When they were done bowling she refused to leave with her friends. Instead, a witness saw her leave with Powell.

“She was not in distress,” said Kimberly Knapp, who saw the two leaving. “She was holding his hand, they were like a couple.”

However, Troyer’s family said the girl with a speech impediment and the mental capacity of a 9-year-old was vulnerable.

“Somebody could come into her and befriend her and she would believe that they had her best interest in mind,” said Tacoma Police Captain Brent Bokeman, a spokesperson for the Troyer family.

Questions are being raised about how a student at a school sanctioned event could wander away with a stranger. Dan Voelpel of Tacoma Public Schools said Troyer was supposed to receive a ride home from a friend at school. But the friend said Troyer didn’t need a ride home. The school district insists Troyer was provided adequate supervision.

“We have thousands of student athletes and in events like this one, the students arrange to get themselves to and from their matches and games,” Voelpel said.

Tacoma police have not arrested or charged Powell with a crime. The case is still under investigation.


7 Comments to “16-year-old special ed student left school event with sex offender, police say”

    Terri said:
    November 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    AM glad to hear that she was found. I hope that she was not hurt.

    Victoria said:
    November 14, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    I say file them…He know's better but is just sick in the head.

    David said:
    November 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Not the smartest thing to wander off with a daughter of anyone's let alone a Pierce County Sheriff's.

      Anonymous said:
      November 19, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      Leave the guy alone. I feel bad for the sex offender. The guy may have made a mistake once but if it was truly something horrible he would have got level 2 or level 3. Police say the girl was safe so the guy must’ve been nice

    Donald Bugge said:
    November 14, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    He is 21 years old and she is 16 years old. By law that is rape if sex was done. I'm guessing it was. This man is lower than low. He prayed on a Special Education Student. To top this off the man is a sex offender deemed by the State a Level 1 which is the lowest level. Maybe he should be charged with Kidnapping 1st then do an investigation of Rape of a Child so he has to register as a Level 3 sex Offender and get counseling. But counseling won't help this jerk. He prayed on a Special Education Student. Maybe Prison is what this Predator needs. he obviously did not learn the 1st time.

    .. said:
    November 14, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Maybe her father could actually choose to be responsible instead of trolling around with his girlfriend …

    Harry Kuheim said:
    January 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    No Red Flags here Folks…when the next girl is found Buried Alive, found in an Under Ground Sex Slave Dungeon, or Dismembered and the pieces fed to dogs, the same people excusing this will be up in arms claiming the Cops did something wrong…maybe sue the City for $15 Million too.

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