Missing Edmonton teen found safe in Oregon, U.S. man facing charges
A 13-year-old girl from Edmonton who had been missing for more than a week was safely located in Oregon, where a man, 41, is in police custody and facing charges.
On Saturday morning, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) announced that after an international investigation, law enforcement arrested the man near Portland and that the girl had been taken to a children's hospital for precautionary reasons.
Family members were notified early Saturday that the missing youth had been located in Oregon City, with her parents already leaving to visit her.
The girl, who is no longer being identified due to being a youth victim of crime, went missing on June 24 after taking the bus to her junior high school. Her parents were later notified that evening she had not attended any classes.
"This was an intensive investigation right from the beginning," said EPS Insp. Brent Dahlseide.
Dahlseide, the head of Edmonton's major crimes branch, said investigators were assisted by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams, RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Oregon City Police, and Gladstone Police.
According to Dahlseide, forthcoming child luring charges stemmed from evidence the EPS gathered, with further charges expected to be laid by American law enforcement agencies. The Portland FBI field office confirmed to CTV News that Noah Madrano is being held on state charges laid by Oregon City Police.
"As this investigation progresses, with the support of our child protection section, there will be, I anticipate, numerous charges that will be forthcoming in relation to this," Dahlseide said.
"This is a happy ending to an investigation that was exhaustive, a very heavy week for family and friends as well, not knowing where (she) was," he added.
In a social media post, the girl's father said family members were "full of happiness and love," thanking the efforts of community members in raising awareness about his missing daughter.
PUTTING THE MOVEMENTS TOGETHER
While the girl had been located safely, Dahlseide said the investigation to uncover all the details from the incident continues.
"It's a unique investigation in that we don't have very many times like this where we are going across international borders," Dahlseide said.
"It's unique enough to go province to province, but to facilitate something like this in the United States through our partners, there is something that is unique and took a lot of coordinated effort."
It is not known how the girl crossed the border into the U.S. and how long the 41-year-old was in contact with her online beforehand.
When asked why an Amber Alert was not issued, Dahlseide said the criteria for an alert were not met, with investigators only having a potential suspect vehicle description on Friday.
At that point, EPS was drafting an alert when it was notified that the man was no longer in Canada, making an alert "no longer feasible," said Staff Sgt. James Vanderland of EPS' Historical Crimes Section.
Investigators believe the man had been in Edmonton, but are still trying to trace his full movements into Canada and out of the country.
"We as an investigative team are going to learn more in the next days here," Dahlseide said.
EPS said investigators believe the man was in Mission, B.C., for a few days. Const. Paul Walker, with the Abbotsford Police Department, confirmed to CTV News that EPS reached out on Friday, indicating that the girl may have been at a fast-food restaurant there.
"Our front-line officers attended this location and obtained CCTV from the business confirming that the girl and the suspect had been in the restaurant," Walker said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the girl and the suspect had already departed this location prior to police arrival."
Dahlseide thanked the public for all the tips provided to law enforcement to aid the investigation.
"As the investigation progressed, we received countless tips from all over Canada," he said.
"I'd rather have 200 that we needed to sift through and discount 199 of them to be able to find one then to get zero tips and literally have nowhere to go."
CTV News Edmonton has contacted the other American law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation for comment.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jessica Robb and Steven Dyer
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