UPDATE: A West Wendover teen who went missing on Friday afternoon has returned home, police say.
According to a statement from the West Wendover Police Dept., Laura Ortiz returned to her family on Sunday after seeing media coverage.
Police say Ortiz is cooperating with police as they investigate the incident.
WEST WENDOVER, Nev. — A West Wendover, Nevada, teen is missing after she went to see a man she met online, according to police.
Laura Ortiz was last seen by her family Friday afternoon. West Wendover police said the teen called her mother around 2:00 to tell her she was going to meet a man named Jesus, someone she had met through Facebook. The teen reportedly said she and Jesus were going to begin a new life together.
“Obviously, we’re very concerned about her welfare and where she is,” said West Wendover Sgt. David Wiskerchen.
Police obtained a photo of the man from Facebook and believe he is in his twenties, but have little knowledge of who he is, or how he came into contact with Ortiz. Wiskerchen said that is one of the dangers of meeting someone online. “You have to be extremely careful. This is the day and age when people with bad intentions are getting hold of youths and asking them to do probably unspeakable and criminal things,” he said.
Police had been struggling to find any lead on Ortiz until she called her mother again Saturday from a pre-paid cell phone, claiming she had made her way to Reno, NV and was safe.
Wiskerchen said authorities will need to speak with Ortiz themselves in order to determine if she is ok. “Primarily, we don’t know anything about him. We don’t know what his intentions are,” he said.
Ortiz was last seen wearing white/black striped long sleeve shirt, black pants and white shoes. She is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, 150 pounds, brown eyes and brown hair with red highlights.
Ortiz also has the following tattoos:
- Tattoo on the left leg: “Brenda”
- Tattoo on the right leg: ”Juan”
- Tattoo on the right thumb: stars with letters “MP”
- Tattoo on the right arm: “Don’t cry over a guy”
Anyone with information on Laura’s whereabouts is asked to call the West Wendover Police Department at (775) 664-4393.