Arrest made in missing girl's case


Oakland police say an arrest has been made, but they are being tight-lipped at the moment. They have confirmed to ABC7 News that they are investigating exactly what happened to that 16-year-old girl.

Last Tuesday, a teenage girl, who her parents say suffers from severe autism and has the mental capacity of a 9-year-old, went missing from the Fred Finch Youth Center group home in Oakland.

After appealing to the public for help and several searches coordinated by the Oakland Police Department, she was found in San Francisco on a Muni bus. Her parents tell us she had been assaulted. On Monday, facility directors expressed their gratitude to the public for helping find her.

"That's really what resulted in her return to safety. We're really, really grateful to the community," said Kathie Jacobson, the Fred Finch Youth Center COO.

I spoke with the girl's mother by phone. She says she doesn't want to discuss the nature of her daughter's injuries or the details of the arrest out of concern that it may jeopardize her daughter's case.

"We're just very pleased that there has been an apprehension. We're so pleased that the community responded the way it did," said Tom Alexander, the Fred Finch Youth Center CEO.

Oakland police aren't saying much, only that an arrest has been made. The particulars around the who, what and why, aren't being shared with the public or the youth facility administrators.

"We look to participate with the police in any further way that we can. But at this point we can't say anything else about the investigation," said Alexander.

The facility administrators told me that this has been a difficult time for everyone. Reduced funding and industry regulations often present challenges that the public just doesn't see. They did stress, however, that safety and welfare of their clients remains the top priority.

Copyright © 2023 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.