Camas teen found safe; investigation into human trafficking underway
CAMAS, Wash. - A 17-year-old Camas teenager who was missing since last month was found safe Wednesday, but the investigation into her disappearance continues because it involved human trafficking, the Clark County Sheriff's Office said.
"I just wanted to say thank you to everybody. Everybody who shared her page, everybody who was looking for her, everybody that sent tips in," said Lynda Jorgensen, mother of the girl who'd been missing.
The sheriff's office said news coverage, phone tips and tips from social media helped lead them to find Anji Dean at the Clackamas Town Center. She was interviewed by detectives and then reunited with her family.
"It is clear that the local and national news coverage as well as the wide spread sharing of this family's story via social media such as Facebook and Twitter was integral in leading us to her safe return. This is an active investigation that includes the crime of human trafficking. We will be continuing our investigation," Sgt. Kevin Allais, with the sheriff's office's major crimes unit, said in a statement.
She had been missing since June 23.
Anji Dean's mom says waiting for word about her daughter has been an emotional roller coaster.
"Oh, absolutely," said Jorgensen, "The first night that I called her in missing I was scared to death. You know, and it's been a scary - the last couple of weeks have been horrible, have been horrible."
Jorgensen also says what happened in her family, could happen to any family.
"She's my daughter," Jorgensen said, "She's amazing and fabulous at most everything she does. She's not any different than any other teenage girl."