May 21, 2003
BY ANA MENDIETA Staff Reporter
The 14-year-old missing girl from Urbana who was the subject of a
nationwide search and a statewide Amber Alert was found unharmed in
Chicago on Tuesday, and it appears she was a runaway, authorities said.
Tyeeste Jones was found Tuesday at 4 p.m., unharmed in a house on the
2000 block of North Avers on Chicago’s Northwest side, in the company of
an unidentified 42-year-old man who was being questioned by federal
agents Tuesday evening, said Chicago’s FBI spokesman Ross Rice.
It is unclear how the girl arrived in Chicago and why, Rice said. But
Urbana police said it appears that she left Urbana willingly with the man
she was found with.
“At this point, I don’t believe she was dragged away kicking and
screaming. But as I have told other people, in this day and age
14-year-olds have different ways to develop a relationship with people
they don’t know,” said Urbana Police Lt. Mike Metzler. “I suspect what we
will find is that she may have gotten in this car willingly, but she may
have not known exactly what she was getting herself into.”
Metzler said Urbana police and the FBI are investigating how Tyeeste
became acquainted with the man with whom she left Urbana.
As of Tuesday evening, no charges had been filed against that man and
arrangements were being made to return the girl to Urbana, Rice said.
”I’m just so overjoyed she’s found, she’s safe, she’s coming home to me
tonight,” Linda Hines, Tyeeste’s mother, told the Associated Press.
Hines has cooperated with the investigation since her daughter
disappeared May 18, Metzler said. The girl was last seen in her home
Sunday afternoon after going out to empty the trash. A statewide Amber
Alert was issued by Illinois State Police about three hours later.
In the beginning, Urbana police believed the child was in danger of harm
for such an alert to be issued. The teen had also recently reported that
someone had attempted to abduct her, authorities said.
Tyeeste was located in the man’s home Tuesday as a result of the
information developed during the investigation, Metzler said Tuesday.
The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children has also been
involved in the investigation, he added.