Breaking: Missing Oak Grove girl found safe, family gives thanks
OAK GROVE -- Relatives of a 16-year-old-girl missing since Halloween are giving thanks today.
Cmdr. Steven Snyder of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office said Desiray Thibodeaux of Oak Grove was found early Thanksgiving morning on the campus of Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky.
Snyder said university police had found Thibodeaux and 24-year-old Evan Pearson of Berryville sleeping in a car on campus.
The two had last been spotted on Nov. 3 at the home of one of Pearson's relatives near Drumright, Okla., authorities had said.
Catherine Thibodeaux had reported her daughter missing in the wee hours of Nov. 1, after she did not return home from a Halloween evening event at Oak Grove Freewill Baptist Church.
Witnesses later told investigators they had seen Thibodeaux that night get into Pearson's 1994 Chevy 1500 extended cab truck.
Thibodeaux said Pearson was a recent acquaintance of her daughter's. The two had met about one month before Thibodeaux disappeared, not long after Pearson hired the girl's brother, Adam, to work for his logging enterprise.
Investigators had initially said they believed Thibodeaux left with Pearson of her own free will. However, they had since suggested she might have been in danger.
Snyder said Pearson is being charged with Interference with Custody, a Class C Felony. He is being held in Moorehead but has an extradition hearing scheduled for Monday morning.
Kevin Strickland, Catherine Thibodeaux's boyfriend, said Friday afternoon that the two were on their way home.
"Cathy said it was the best Thanksgiving present she could ever have," he said.