She was last seen in October 2019, but on Friday night a Florida Amber Alert was issued for a 17-year-old girl missing from Chattanooga, Tennessee, due to what investigators called a case with “unique circumstances.”
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Daphne Westbrook in October 2019 did not return from a weekend visit with her non-custodial father, John Westbrook. The agency states that in June 2020, authorities in Hamilton County Tennessee secured a warrant for John Westbrook, charging him with custodial interference.
The following October, the TBI said, the teen was placed on its missing children website.
Most recently, on Feb. 23, 2021, a Hamilton County grand jury indicted John Westbrook on a charge of aggravated kidnapping in connection to the 17-year-old’s disappearance.
“We’re issuing our AMBER Alert now, because a warrant has been issued for a qualifying crime in Tennessee, and in hopes that – should evidence place her and John in another state – that state will be able to issue an AMBER Alert faster,” the TBI said on Twitter.
“We have recent information being revealed that she’s (Daphne Westbrook) being drugged and supplied with alcohol,” said Neal Pinkston, the Hamilton County district attorney. “She’s also expressed very recent suicidal ideations and she has a history of self mutilation.”
The most recent information in the search, the TBI said, likely places them in Florida one week ago. The district attorney in Hamilton County said a sighting was reported in Fort Walton Beach on March 6. A witnessed also described a Volkswagen Beetle.
“The details of his vehicle had never been released, and they gave us details of his vehicle,” Pinkston said.
Below is a photo of the 1971 Volkswagen Beetle that authorities said they may be traveling in. It has no license plate or windshield.
Pinkston also believes they might have traveled to the Highlands County area, saying John Westbrook has a sister in the area. He said Westbrook is difficult to track and is an IT and security expert.
“He’s hidden his identity and hers through voice over IP phone numbers, email addresses and things of that nature, and he keeps her hidden. So when you ask the public if they’ve seen her, most likely, due to what we’ve dealt with with the pandemic, they probably haven’t seen her,” Pinkston said.
Authorities believe John Westbrook may have also traveled to the western United States with Daphne Westbrook. He has known contacts in Colorado, New Mexico, California, and Washington.
“They could, however, be anywhere,” the TBI wrote. “And in recent weeks, evidence uncovered during the investigation into John Westbrook has led authorities to become increasingly concerned for Daphne’s wellbeing.”
If you see Daphne Westbrook or John Westbrook, or have information about their relationship or disappearance, call 423-209-7415 or 1-800-TBI-FIND, or email TipsToTBI@tn.gov or FindingDaphne@hcdatn.org.— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) March 10, 2021