Who is Daphne Westbrook?
Daphne Westbrook is a Tennessee teenager who was abducted by her father has been found safe in Alabama almost two years after her kidnapping.
An Amber Alert for Daphne Westbrook, 18, was canceled Friday morning after the teen was found in Samson, Alabama.
Who is Daphne Westbrook and how long was she missing?
Westbrook was 16-years-old when she suddenly vanished in October 2019 after she never returned home from a weekend with her father.
Nearly two years later, John Westbrook, the victim’s father, was indicted on charges of aggravated kidnapping.
Investigators believe the now 18-year-old victim was “held against her will” by her father.
“We are thankful Daphne is safe and no longer being held by her father.
“It is especially gratifying to be able to tell her mom that Daphne is free and no longer being hidden,” prosecutors said in a statement after she was located.
Investigators didn’t release details about the Westbrook’s condition or how she was located.
Has her father been arrested?
Law enforcement officials are still searching for her John, 42.
The 43-year-old did not have legal custody rights and allegedly abducted Westbrook in October 2019 from Chattanooga, Tennessee, authorities said.
John is described as a white male and appears to have long blonde hair and a ginger beard in a photo provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations.
Authorities believe that John may have traveled to the western part of the country but has known contacts in Colorado, New Mexico, California and Washington.
He is wanted on multiple charges including aggravated kidnapping.
Daphne Westbrook Age
She is 18 years old.
When was Daphne Westbrook Disapeared?
She disappeared October 6, 2019, along with her dogs, Fern and Strawberry, from Chattanooga, failing to return home from a weekend visit with her dad, John Westbrook, 42.
Officials said she had been kept either drugged or somehow subdued ever since, according to FOX 13.
Where is Her Father Arrested or Not?
In a statement released to WRCB-TV, the Hamilton County district attorney said John Westbrook remains at large.
Daphne Westbrook Father
John is an IT expert specializing in security, blockchain technology, and Bitcoin, which may be part of how he’s been evading authorities for months.
‘We are thankful Daphne is safe and no longer being held by her father,’ District Attorney Neal Pinkston said.
He said the investigation is ongoing. ‘It is especially gratifying to be able to tell her mom that Daphne is free and no longer being hidden,’ Pinkston said.
‘This doesn’t change our goal to find and prosecute John Westbrook. Our investigation remains active and we expect new developments within the next couple of weeks.’
Daphne turned 18 years old last weekend, which disqualified her from being the subject of an Amber Alert. But the Holly Bobo Act – named for a 20-year-old who was kidnapped and murdered a decade ago – allowed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to issue an Endangered Child Alert on Sunday.
‘We’re very grateful for it [Holly Bobo Act],’ Daphne’s mother, told WRCB-TV last week. ‘We’ve been searching for my daughter for a long time and we won’t give up until we know she’s safe. It’s comforting to know that the search won’t end just because she had a birthday.’
She appeared ’emaciated and uncooperative,’ the DA office said, and said she was going to see her aunt in Sebring, Florida, because her father had allowed her to visit.
The Endangered Child Alert flagged cops when they ran her license, the DA’s office added.
Daphne Westbrook’s Father Charges
Her father was indicted for aggravated kidnapping and custodial interference in February. Around the time of his indictment, Daphne managed to send a message to a friend, expressing a desire to hurt herself.
In March, investigators raided the Sebring home of John’s sister after they found communication between the two. They seized her electronic devices during the raid, FOX 13 reports.
‘Please know that nobody is angry. You are so loved,’ Daphne’s mother, Rhona Curtsinger, said at the time, addressing her daughter. ‘It is not your fault you are in that situation. This is not her fault. I need her to be OK. I need that. I will do everything that I can to make sure that she is.’
Westbrook had spent more than a year eluding the police by relying on his advanced information technology skills, and aliases and disguises.
Pinkston told WDEF in March that Westbrook purchased hair dye and false teeth, to alter his and Daphne’s appearances. Authorities believe he was plying his daughter with drugs and alcohol in order to keep her under his control.
Daphne was last seen in the Denver, Colorado, area in November 2020.
In February, Daphne’s Bible, which she got as a gift from her grandparents for her 16th birthday, was found in a trash can outside of a Trader Joe’s on West Cordova Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Also in February, Westbrook spent several weeks in the Pueblo, Colorado area.
Westbrook is an IT expert specializing in security, blockchain technology, and Bitcoin, The News Tribune reports.
‘He is communicating in a way that’s almost impossible to trace, which makes it extremely difficult for investigators to generate significant leads in this case,’ stated the DA. ‘We know he is earning money contracting with small businesses to do computer security work.’
Pinkston said that Westbrook was using as many as 20 different email addresses and 10 aliases.
Daphne’s mother told WRCB-TV in March that the last time she saw her daughter was October 4, 2019, before she left to spend the weekend with her father at his home on Florida Avenue in Chattanooga.
Two days later, Curtsinger said she received a message from Daphne, asking her for permission to return home a couple of hours late. She never made it back.
Prior to her disappearance, Daphne was happy and doing well in school, Curtsinger said. She described the teen as fun and inquisitive.
‘The only thing that we knew was that she was sad because her dad was moving away to another state,’ Curtsinger said.
Daphne’s mother said she was devastated that her daughter was taken away from everything and everyone she’s ever known, but always remained hopeful that the teen would be found.