LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Two alert store clerks on Thursday spotted and helped bring home a missing 14-year-old Snohomish girl, who was found with a 60-year-old man.
The man was arrested on an unrelated, outstanding warrant.
The teenager was taken to Providence Hospital in Everett to be examined by doctors.
A family friend says the suspect met the girl, described as developmentally disabled, at a McDonald’s in Snohomish where he gave her cookies and soda and promised a free trip to Hawaii.
Q13 Fox News is no longer identifying the girl by name or showing her photo because her family believes she could have been sexually assaulted.
On Wednesday, the girl jumped on her bike to go visit a friend in Snohomish but she never made it. She was reported missing by her family Wednesday night.
“She’s just 14, that’s the third time she’s gotten to ride her bike without supervision,” said her adoptive mother, Roxanne Harwood.
Family and friends frantically searched for the girl.
Early Thursday morning, her family got the good news.
Police found the teenager 15 miles away at a Grocery Outlet store on 44th Avenue West in Lynnwood.
“All of the sudden it clicked, it was the girl on the news clip, on Facebook last night,” said store clerk Jason Thomas.
Surveillance video shows the child wandering the candy aisle of the store.
“The first thing she said, ‘I’m not missing. I like where I’m at, I’m with grandpa. Grandpa’s waiting for me outside,'” said Grocery Outlet owner Larry Brown.
Employees said the girl told them she stayed overnight in a hotel room with the 60-year-old man. They said he was arrested at a nearby McDonald’s.
Investigators have not yet identified the 60-year-old man.