13-year-old Hitchcock girl back home after disappearance, but what about the man found with her?

Leanna Willis was found in Kansas City, Missouri, days after a Houston Regional Amber Alert was issued for her.

Mycah Hatfield Image
Friday, June 16, 2023
Missing 13-year-old back home, but what about the man found with her?
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The 13-year-old Hitchcock girl whose disappearance set off an Amber Alert is now back home. Meanwhile, police offered little about the person said to be with her when she was found.

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The missing Hitchcock, Texas girl who prompted an Amber Alert and was later found in a different state reunited with her family on Friday.

Hitchcock police said the 13-year-old's family reported she was last seen Friday, June 9. Surveillance video showed her getting into a silver four-door Toyota Camry with an unknown Black man.

The family conducted their own search on Monday when they had not seen her and eventually contacted police on Tuesday.

A Houston Regional Amber Alert was issued on Wednesday and a statewide alert was issued the next day.

On Thursday, authorities announced the teen was found nearly 800 miles away in Kansas City, Missouri, at an apartment complex. Kansas City police and the FBI jointly rescued the teen.

"I said to one of the detectives yesterday, 'It is going to be a miracle if we get her back alive,'" Tim Miller with EquuSearch said. "Again with the Internet and all these different apps and the predators out there, it's just a perfect storm for something terrible to happen. Yesterday, I wasn't feeling comfortable that she was going to come back alive or was ever going to find her."

SEE PREVIOUS REPORT: 13-year-old missing out of Hitchcock, Texas found in Kansas City, Missouri, police say

Police said she was with a man who is not a relative but did not release any additional information about him.

Hitchcock police said they were unaware if the man was in custody but said meetings would be held next week with police in Missouri and the FBI to determine what charges the man will face. It is possible he could face federal charges but unclear if he will be charged in Galveston County.

During the investigation, Hitchcock Police Capt. Jeff Evans said they learned the 13-year-old would chat with adult men online through various platforms and believed her disappearance might be connected to online solicitation.

Her family said she had left with men she met online in the past.

Police do believe the man she was found with is someone she met online. They are waiting on forensic evidence from the devices found with the teen and the man. They will also work to determine if she knew the man was an adult prior to meeting him.

It is believed the man picked her up at her home in Hitchcock and drove her to Kansas City.

ABC13 is no longer showing the girl's face since she could be the victim of a sex crime.

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