A 16-year-old Shelton, Wash., girl whose disappearance had triggered a statewide Amber Alert was found safe Wednesday. She had crawled out of her bedroom window and left home on her own, the Mason County Sheriff's Office said.
It was initially feared Vivian Gaspar-Guerrero had been abducted, because when her parents entered her bedroom at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, she was gone, her room was in disarray as if there had been a struggle and her window screen had been cut.
That triggered an Amber Alert, and state troopers and FBI agents were brought in to help in the search. Canvassers searched the neighborhood and surrounding areas with K-9 teams.
But she was found later in the day in the Agate Road area north of Shelton with a friend, a boy she had once dated, Mason County sheriff's Chief Deputy Dean Byrd said. Her friend contacted police when she contacted him. Deputies said the boy did not aid in the girl leaving home.
"She decided to take off on her own and walked away," Byrd said. "She opened the window, cut the screen and left."
With her safe return comes questions about whether an Amber Alert should have been issued. Byrd said yes, given the information deputies had in front of them.
"We had a room that was in disarray, giving us an indication that there had possibly been a struggle,” Byrd said. “We had a cut window screen. We had an area on the ground just outside of her window that was an indication to us that there may have been a struggle.
"She left her cell phone behind. How many teenagers do you know that are going to leave their cell phone behind on purpose? Based on those circumstances, we felt that a full response was in order," Byrd said.
The girl’s parents said they don’t know why she left, but right now they’re just happy to have their daughter back home.