Homeschooling Teen From NC Has Been FOUND – Details Updated!

— UPDATE 2 —

Law enforcement and the community jumped into action when this homeschooled 13-year-old girl, Aubrey Joelle Acree, was reported missing In NC on Monday! A missing person alert was published and law enforcement and media helped spread her photo far and wide. The two-day search ended in Oklahoma late Wednesday night when police found the girl with her the abductor, a man from Albuquerque, New Mexico, named Jacob Gardea.

Gardea, 23, faces all kinds of charges from both states!  Abduction of a child from the state of North Carolina and he is also charged with sexual assault on a minor in Oklahoma, and lewd acts and a forcible sex offense with a minor, according to the Mcintosh County Sheriff’s Office. Which of course means, he must have raped her. I hate that there was any kind of sexual contact!! Currently Gadea is being held in the Mcintosh County jail. He will have his first court appearance Friday, said Jessica Williams, a supervising dispatcher for the Mcintosh County Sheriff’s Office.

Jacob Gardea (Courtesy McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office)

“Aubrey is getting incredible attention to meet all of her needs,” said Adrienne Wallace, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s detective assigned to the case in North Carolina. “The exciting point for all of us is that we found her safe and she’s healthy. She’s being taken care of by a really good network of people over in Oklahoma.”

Thanking the Lord that Aubrey was found alive!


13-year-old Aubrey Joelle Acree was found alive and safe in Oklahoma late Wednesday evening.  According to the FBI press release, she was found her in Checotah, Oklahoma just before 11 p.m.  this evening. Troopers with Oklahoma Highway Patrol and FBI agents out of Oklahoma City were able to track down Aubrey and arrest 23-year-old Jacob Gardea of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gardea faces charges from North Carolina for abduction of a child, and additional charges could be pending.

The SBI and FBI helped with the case. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children  also worked in tandem and on site with investigators, and resources from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles led to an exact identity of the suspected vehicle. Further work pinpointed her location more than 900 miles away from home.

Aubrey’s family has been notified of the success and she will soon be brought back to North Carolina as soon as possible. Agencies involved also credited a keen eyewitness who helped begin the investigation with a strong lead.


Investigators with the Rutherford County NC Sheriff’s Office are searching for a missing 13-year-old girl, Aubrey Joelle Acree. Since Acree was first reported missing, local, state and federal agencies have been working together in effort to find her. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is also working in tandem and on site with investigating teams.


Aubrey Joelle Acree, was reported missing Monday. Acree’s family last saw her around 8 p.m. Saturday, and her mother spoke with her the next morning on the phone. Her sister, Tori Ross says she was last seen at her home in the Mooresboro area. Tori said “This isn’t like her. She would never just run away, she is home-schooled and has a lot of friends,” Ross said.

They have not been able to reach her since Sunday. “Her phone is cut off now,” Ross said.

Tori is desperately worried about her baby sister and is afraid that something has happened. Ross described Acree as a tender-hearted girl who loves to draw.


Acree is 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighs around 130 pounds and has long brown hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a white jacket, leopard colored pants and Converse shoes. She is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment. Here are several different pictures of her:



Vehicle of Interest


Through this investigation, a vehicle of interest has been identified: a Subaru, white in color, possibly a station wagon body style. Police have now revealed that an eyewitness saw Aubrey getting into a vehicle with an unidentified person near Harris Henrietta Road in Mooresboro, North Carolina. The vehicle is a white Subaru SUV with a model year between 2005 and 2007. Investigators canvassed local businesses and found video of the vehicle. The video was captured at the intersection of Harris Henrietta Road and US-221A Highway in Rutherford County.

Sheriff Chris Francis said the Subaru Outback was in Rutherford County between 9:30 and 11 a.m. on Monday. It was identified in surveillance footage from three different areas in the county.

The driver is a person of interest but Francis said deputies need assistance identifying the vehicle and the person inside. Francis asks that people in surrounding Mountain and Upstate counties be on the lookout for the vehicle.



A reward is being offered for information to bring Aubrey home. Her family says they are offering $4,000 for any helpful information. If you have information that can assist in helping safely locate Aubrey Joelle Acree, please call Detective Adrienne Wallace at 828-286-2911.

Alert Details

Extreme – Extraordinary threat to life or property
Immediate – Responsive action SHOULD be taken immediately
Observed – Determined to have occurred or to be ongoing
General emergency and public safety
Missing Child

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