Chattanooga teen missing, believed to be held captive by father
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Daphne Westbrook disappeared from Hamilton County in October of 2019 after she spent the weekend with her father. She has now been spotted in New Mexico and Colorado.”
Authorities believe Daphne Westbrook’s father, John Oliver Westbrook, has kidnapped his daughter.
According to the DAs office, Daphne is being held against her will, unable to communicate with the outside world.
Officials say keeping track of John Westbrook’s whereabouts has been difficult.
“He’s used about 15-20 different email addresses as well as about 10 different aliases. At one point in the trip he purchased hair dye and fake teeth so altered appearances. Bitcoin and block chain analysis are anonymous financial transactions that don’t involve banks. He also uses virtual and Voiceover ip telephone numbers so that you can’t rely on cellular telephone companies to provide location or GPS data,” says Hamilton Co. District Attorney Neal Pinkston.
Daphne’s mom says she’s heartbroken knowing her daughter’s childhood has been stripped from her.
“She has been taken away from everyone she knew ; her friends , everything. All just gone. Vanished and I don’t have enough words for that. The things that we have learned are very scary and very disturbing. We are just so eager to find her and so that we can get her help,” says Rhona Curtsinger, Daphne’s Mother.
The district attorney’s office says dealing with a father/daughter abduction case can pose challenges for law enforcement and be deceptive to the public’s eye.
“People think that they look happy and healthy. That there is nothing unusual going on. But our investigation reveals that she is generally kept under the influence of drugs and alcohol. She’s not free to socially interact with anyone except her father. He is in control of her. She is not free to leave,” says Pinkston.
Officials say John Westbrook has been charged with aggravated kidnapping, but still has not been apprehended.
If you have any information about Daphne’s or John’s whereabouts, please contact local law enforcement.