A teenager from California who went missing last summer was found over the weekend, and authorities have arrested her stepfather.
Katuana Nateya Whisenant, 14 years old, was found during a traffic stop in Nevada on Saturday, according to Crescent City Police Department Chief Richard Griffin’s statement. The teenager’s stepfather, Santos Flores-Roman, 39, from Santa Rosa, also had an active arrest warrant, so he was taken into custody.
Whisenant was found unharmed and in good health, Griffin told KTVU-TV. Her stepfather, meanwhile, was charged on suspicion of keeping the kid away from her parents, as per The Press Democrat.
Missing California Teenager Ran Away From Home
“It’s like child abduction but different, because she voluntarily ran away,” the chief told the news outlet.
The California girl ran away from her home in Crescent City back in July 2021 and went to Santa Rosa where Roman had moved to. Because she’s a Yurok Indian, the local tribal police contacted the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which, in turn, got the FBI involved in the investigation.
“We had last located him in Chico based on his license plate,” Griffin stated. “Then, out of the blue we get this call that they found her. We had an arrest warrant out on him.”
“Since I’m a parent myself, I could imagine what it would be like for my daughter to be gone that long. I was glad to be able to make that call to the parents,” he added. “It was the best-case scenario.”