Missing Kenton County teen found safe after almost two months

17-year-old found Tuesday in Carrollton, Ky.

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 17-year-old girl missing since late October from the town of Independence has been found.

The Independence Police Department, which worked with other local and state agencies to find Laticia Valadez announced Wednesday she’d been found in Carrollton, Ky. She had last been seen Oct. 31.

On November 1, 2021, the 17-year-old female was reported missing by the Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Valadez was last seen in Independence, and the local police department immediately opened an investigation.

A representative from DCBS also reached out to the Attorney General’s Office of Trafficking and Abuse Prevention and Prosecution (TAPP) for assistance with the case. TAPP assisted with facilitating a partnership between the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Independence Police Department.

“Due to the inter-agency cooperation and support shown in this case, this young lady is now in the care of individuals who will both take good care of her and ensure she is not harmed,” said Capt. Brian Ferayorni of the Independence Police Department. “This case shows how well federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies can work together when they are working toward a common goal.”

NCMEC worked with law enforcement to enter the missing youth’s information into the organization’s database and create a missing child poster. Within several hours of distribution of the poster, Independence Police received a tip regarding the youth’s whereabouts.

“We’re grateful to have such dedicated partners in the search for missing children,” said John Bischoff, vice president of the Missing Children Division at NCMEC. “That includes the public, whose tips play a critical role in finding missing children. Please, if you see the poster of a missing child, pay attention. You never know when you might be in a position to help.”

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