TN DAPHNE WESTBROOK: Missing from Chattanooga, TN - 7 Oct 2019 - Age 16 - AMBER Alert issued March 2021 *Found Safe*

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New leads prompt AMBER Alert for kidnapped teen​

Tennessee authorities issued an AMBER Alert this week for a 17-year-old girl kidnapped by her father in 2019.

The Hamilton County District Attorney's Office in Chattanooga, Tennessee, says John Oliver Westbrook kidnapped his daughter Daphne, along with her two dogs Fern and Strawberry, in October 2019.

She never returned from a weekend visit with her father.

"Daphne is being held against her will, unable to communicate with the outside world. Our investigation shows she is endangered both physically and mentally," the DA's office says.

Officials said they believe Daphne may have been drugged or subdued while in her father's care.

Investigators said Daphne's bible was found in a trash can in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in February. There also have been sightings in Denver and Pueblo, Colorado, authorities say.

Now, investigators are ratcheting up efforts to find them after sightings have been confirmed in Florida and Daphne managed to send a message to a friend to say she was considering self-harm.

Police found communication between John Westbrook and his sister who lives in Florida. Authorities raided her home over the weekend and seized her electronic devices.

Daphne's father is an IT expert who 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."

Investigators said John Westbrook also has ties to Auburn, Washington, where another sister lives. His sister in Auburn has refused to cooperate with law enforcement.


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MEDIA - DAPHNE WESTBROOK: Missing from Chattanooga, TN since 7 Oct 2019 - Age 16 - AMBER Alert issued March 2021
 
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SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

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DA: Daphne Westbrook being drugged by father after kidnapping over custody ruling​

The Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office says new information has led to the indictment of John Westbrook and Amber Alert for Daphne Westbrook.

Because of COVID-19 suspending the grand jury things were delayed in this case. But District Attorney General Neal Pinkston said investigators have not stopped searching for the 17-year-old.

“Our investigation has revealed that she is presently expressing some suicidal ideations. And she has not just presently but she has a past history of that as well,” Pinkston said.

Pinkston said Daphne and her non-custodial father could be in a number of locations across the country. Although he said John’s family has not been helpful in the investigation in locating the teen.

“She has this odd affection to him now because prior to her leaving he would give her alcohol, marijuana, LSD, mushrooms. And he’s now, we know from recent witness interviews, that she’s constantly drugged and/or drinking alcohol provided by him,” Pinkston said.

Pinkston said Westbrook kidnapped his teenage daughter after a custody agreement ruled he could only have Daphne every other weekend.

“Well in order to avoid that and avoid paying child support he just leaves with her,” Pinkston said.

Kidnapped teen's secret message, father's communication with Florida relative produce new leads​

Daphne Westbrook didn't come home from a weekend trip to visit her father, John Westbrook, back in October 2019. Ever since, law enforcement has been searching for the pair, under the belief Daphne has been drugged or otherwise subdued.

Investigators are now ratcheting up efforts to find them after Daphne managed to send a message to a friend to say she was considering self-harm.

"Please know that nobody is angry. You are so loved," she said as a message to 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."

John Westbrook is considered an expert in disguise, has shielded their phones from detection and uses cryptocurrency. Investigators believe he is keeping her drugged in order to control her.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

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Amber Alert: Teen missing since 2019 may be in Florida​

A teenager who has been missing since 2019 may be in Florida, authorities said after issuing an Amber Alert on Friday.

Authorities believe the pair may be in Florida and traveling in a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle with no license plate or front windshield.

AMBER Alert issued for kidnapped Tennessee teen spotted in Florida Panhandle
Authorities received a credible sighting of the father and daughter in Fort Walton Beach on Saturday, March 6, the Chief of Staff with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office said on Friday.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

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They've been searching hard for her since she disappeared. I received a message from an investigator on the case back in November when they had good reason to believe they were in Washington state. Daphne is extremely high risk with her dad. I was shocked to see the AMBER Alert when she disappeared almost a year and a half ago, but they wouldn't have issued it willy-nilly without good reason. I hope it leads to finding her safe.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Wow, not sure I can think of any case that would compare to this one. Strange. This man must have had some money to stay on the run and hidden like this or some serious help. Disguises? Cryptocurrency? Various drugs and alcohol? I hope they find her but apparently it has been challenging from the start?
 

Kimster

aka Grandma Kim 💕
Staff member
Wow, not sure I can think of any case that would compare to this one. Strange. This man must have had some money to stay on the run and hidden like this or some serious help. Disguises? Cryptocurrency? Various drugs and alcohol? I hope they find her but apparently it has been challenging from the start?
That’s a good point! How are they surviving?
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
That’s a good point! How are they surviving?
It does sound like his family refuse to talk to LE, etc. I wonder if they assist him. I hope he is not using his own daughter to make money... I'll leave that remark right there other than to say what type of father provides those types of drugs and alcohol? Only due to reading that, one has to wonder what else he would do...
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
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TBI says Chattanooga teen missing since 2019 could be in New Mexico​

Officials with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said based on new evidence, a Chattanooga teen missing since 2019 may be in New Mexico.

Photos placed the teen’s father John Westbrook and the vehicle they are believed to be traveling in, in Santa Fe, New Mexico in October.

In early March, TBI officials reported Westbrook and her non-custodial father were believed to be in Florida. According to TBI, findings likely place the two in Florida the first week of March.

Authorities believe John may have traveled to the western U.S. with Daphne. TBI says John has known contacts in Colorado, New Mexico, California and Washington.


 

Kimster

aka Grandma Kim 💕
Staff member
Daphne was seen in the Denver, Colorado area in November 2020, and in February 2021, John spent several weeks in the Pueblo, Colorado area. That same month, Daphne's Bible was found in a trash can outside a Trader Joe's store on west Cordova Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They may be traveling in a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle with no license plate or windshield. They may have Daphne's two dogs, a brown and white one named named Fern and a Collie named Strawberry, with them; photos of the car and dogs are posted with this case summary. Daphne enjoys horseback riding and her father might have let her ride after her abduction.

John is an information technology expert specializing in security, block chain technology and bitcoin, and may be earning money doing freelance computer security work. His computer expertise has made it difficult for authorities to trace his and Daphne's whereabouts. He has used fifteen to twenty different email addresses and about ten different alias names, and is known to have purchased hair dye and false teeth, which suggests he and Daphne may have altered their appearances.

Prior to Daphne's abduction, her father would often give her alcohol and drugs including marijuana, mushrooms and LSD. Authorities have received information that Daphne has been kept "constantly" under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol since her abduction, and that she has expressed suicidal feelings. She is reportedly being held against her will and is unable to communicate with the outside world. Her cellular phone has been kept wrapped in aluminum foil and her computer shut off most of the time, though John has occasionally let her use the devices under his supervision.

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SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

How the Holly Bobo Act is helping investigators in the search for Daphne Westbrook​

A new law is allowing investigators to continue to issue alerts for a missing Chattanooga teenager.


Over the weekend, Daphne turned 18, which excludes her from being able to qualify for AMBER Alerts.

However, TBI was able to send out an endangered child alert under the Holly Bobo Act.

Holly Bobo was abducted and murdered in 2011.

She was 20-years-old at the time of her disappearance, which made her ineligible for an AMBER Alert.

"As a result of her investigation and case led us to the Bobo Act, which was passed last year and it essentially allows us to issue at TBI, we can issue an endangered child alert for someone between the ages of 18 and 20," Smitherman said.


"We're very grateful for it [Holly Bobo Act]", Daphne's mother, Rhona Curtsinger said. "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."
 

kdg411

Administrator
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Samson Police Chief Jimmy Hill said Daphne was found about 1 a.m. Friday during a traffic stop. Officers on patrol stopped her vehicle because it had an expired tag and a missing tail light. When they ran her information through police computers, they learned she was listed in the nationwide missing persons database.

She was alone in the vehicle with her dog and told police she was headed to the beach.

“She seemed fine,’' Hill said. “We asked her if she needed anything and she said she was OK. “

“She said she was going to the beach to enjoy herself,’' the chief said. “She said she had just turned 18 and was free.”

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Authorities said Daphne did not want to speak with investigators and did not want to speak with her mom. The two had previously disagreed on the importance of school after Daphne dropped out in the 10th grade.

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Westbrook is currently sought on aggravated kidnapping charges. Authorities also expect to charge those who have helped him evade authorities.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
So glad she is safe! Circumstances are pretty strange though. Just because she is 18 they had to let her go because she seemed fine? Her being the subject of an active AMBER Alert and having concern for her safety doesn't even warrant an interview at the station?
 

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