An American teenager who was allegedly kidnapped and drugged by her father has been found safe — after being missing for nearly two years, authorities said.
Alabama police accidentally stumbled upon Daphne Westbrook around 1.30am in the city of Samson, where an officer stopped the now 18-year-old for driving with an expired tag and busted light, according to Chief Jimmy Hill.
The officer realised who she was after running her name through police computers, Hill said.
Westbrook was driving through Alabama to the beach with her dog.
“She seemed fine. She said she was going to the beach to enjoy herself,’’ the chief said, according to AL.com. “She said she had just turned 18 and was free.”
It was not said where she was coming from.
The teen was reported missing from Chattanooga, Tennessee, in October 2019 and authorities said they believe her father John Westbrook had kept her against her will by keeping her intoxicated.
Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office, the county where the teen was reported missing was still searching for her father.
“We are thankful Daphne is safe and no longer being held by her father,” the office wrote. “It is especially gratifying to be able to tell her mum that Daphne is free and no longer being hidden. This doesn’t change our goal to find and prosecute John Westbrook.”
Police let the 18-year-old go after determining she “was in no danger and stated that she needed no help in any way”.
According to AL.com, Daphne Westbrook did not want to speak to her mum, with whom she had a falling-out when she dropped out of the 10th grade.
This story originally appeared on the NY Post and was republished with permission.