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Marine detained after missing 14-year-old girl found in barracks

A 14-year-old California girl who was missing for 18 days was found in the barracks of San Diego’s Camp Pendleton last month and a Marine was taken into custody by military police.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) confirmed last week that the girl disappeared on June 9 and was reported missing on June 13 before she was found in the barracks on June 28. According to a California-based NBC News affiliate, the child’s aunt told reporters that the girl — who has learning disabilities — was sold to a Marine for sex.

“The security looked her in the face and allowed this man to bring a minor on to base,” her aunt told reporters. “Due to her age, she could not have given this consent.”

The girl’s grandmother told reporters that the delay in reporting the child’s absence to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was because the child had previously run away but always returned home quickly. 

The Marine has not been identified publicly nor formally charged, remaining in the custody of his command as Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force investigate.

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