Alinka Castaneda, 16, disappeared on New Year’s Day. She was recently found safe, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Disappeared for almost four months, the circumstances of the absence of the young girl remain mysterious, but an investigator believes that she may have been held captive by an unknown person.
Retired LAPD detective and private investigator Moses Castillo has been working with Castaneda’s family since they received a series of phone calls that led them to believe she was a victim of human trafficking – rather than their initial belief that she had run away.
“During that phone call, she actually shared with her sister and mother that she didn’t know where she was then and that she wouldn’t be allowed to leave,” the private investigator told NewsNation. “She looked like she was under duress and stressed.”
Castillo also addressed the alleged kidnapper – saying he knew his name and the jig was up.
“Dude, we know you have it,” said the private investigator. “You are a grown man; it’s time to give it up. Take her to 1200 North State Street across from USC Los Angeles County Medical Center; drop it off. You can easily find me on Instagram. Just let me know where you’re going to do it, and I’ll be there for her to get her the help she needs.
Law enforcement did not say if anyone had been arrested in connection with Castaneda’s disappearance at the time of this writing.
According to LASD, she was last seen on January 1 around 5 a.m. on South Caroldale Avenue in Carson, California. She was wearing a black shirt, black sweatpants and a gold necklace when she disappeared. His phone had last rung to a location in the heart of Venice, according to a press release.
The girl was caught on a neighbor’s doorbell camera getting into an unidentified vehicle, ABC’s West Coast flagship station KABC reported.
“There are concerns for his welfare,” LASD added, calling Castaneda a “critical missing juvenile.”
Earlier this month, Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes announced the city was offering a $100,000 reward to anyone with information that could lead to Castaneda’s safe return, according to the affiliate. local Fox, KTTV.
“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit advises that Alinka Angeline Castaneda has been found,” the official bulletin reads in full.
Law enforcement did not say how the girl was found or reveal other details about her disappearance.
It’s unclear where the girl was dropped off, but there has been at least one failed effort to meet her family in the past, according to KABC. She reportedly once told her mother she would meet at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, but the girl never showed up.
According to Los Angeles-based CW flagship KTLA, the girl has been reunited with her mother, citing officials.
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