Missing Girl, 16, Found On Bus In Georgia

Text Messages Used To Track Down Teen, Man She Was Going To Meet

November 1, 2005

HOUSTON — An Amber Alert for a missing Fort Bend County teen was called
off Tuesday after the girl was found on a bus in Georgia, KPRC Local 2

Meagan Minton, 16, was found safe and unharmed on a bus in Thompson, Ga.,
at about 8:30 a.m.

Surveillance video recorded at the Randall’s grocery store on Kirkwood
Road near West Bellfort Street in southwest Houston showed Meagan using a
change machine at about 7 a.m. Monday.

“She was at the cash machine, cashing in some quarters. She had, what we
were told, was about $200 in quarters, and that is how she undoubtedly
paid for her bus ticket to leave for South Carolina,” Meadows Place
Police Department Chief Mike Pickett told KPRC Local 2.

The Amber Alert was issued Tuesday at 1:09 a.m. even though investigators
believe she left on her own. Pickett said the alert was issued because
authorities would rather err on the side of caution.

Police stopped the bus Meagan was on in Thompson, Ga.

“We had tracked down the individual she had been interacting with on the
Internet and they were doing instant messaging back and forth. We talked
with him and his father,” Pickett said.

Investigators believe Meagan boarded a Greyhound bus headed for South
Carolina on Monday to meet an 18-year-old man she met on the Internet and
frequently text messaged on her cell phone.

Meadows Place Mayor Mark McGrath said if this can happen to Meagan, an
honor roll student at Hightower High School who has never been in
trouble, it can happen to anyone. He is urging parents to be aware and

“In this era or computers and the Internet, we need to really be looking
at what they are doing on the computers and even on cell phones because a
lot of this apparently transpired with text messaging,” McGrath told KPRC
Local 2.

Meagan’s parents said her disappearance was extremely out of character.

Evidence on Meagan’s computer showed the man had suicidal conversations
with her at least one time.

“Because of the fact that some of the things seen on her computer,
there’s the potential that she is being lured into a situation that she
won’t be able to handle at her age,” Pickett said.

Authorities told KPRC Local 2 that they are still investigating the
nature of Meagan’s relationship with the man. If they find evidence that
the man lured Meagan across state lines, he could face charges.

Copyright 2005 by Click2Houston.com.

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