DALLAS — A veteran Dallas police detective who was part of the effort to find a missing 15-year-old Oak Cliff girl said she was stunned to learn that Jakadrien Turner was deported to South America by federal immigration agents.
The teen, who is now languishing at a detention center in Colombia, found herself the victim of a series of mishaps and mistakes.
Detective C'mon Wingo has been a police officer for more than 20 years, and isn't easily surprised. But this case was different.
"I was floored," she said. "I thought, 'Oh my goodness, this can't be true! How in the world did she get there?' I was very floored."
As News 8 first reported Tuesday, Jakadrien disappeared in November 2010. Her grandmother, Lorene Turner, relentlesly searched for her on Facebook.
"God just kept leading me," she said. "I woke up in the middle of the night and did whatever God told me to do, and I found her."
Turner and dective Wingo said it was social media that helped them crack the case. Working with Facebook, they were able to track down the missing teen.
"It was the love Ms. Turner has for her granddaughter," Wingo said. "It's amazing and awesome."
But their battle is only half-won. Jakadrien remains in a detention facility in Colombia.
As News 8 reported, immigrantion officials mistakenly deported the teenager after she gave them the wrong name. That name came back to an illegal immigrant from Colombia who was wanted by international police on warrants.
"They didn't do their work," Lorene Turner asserted. "How do you deport a 15-year-old and send her to Colombia without a passport... without anything?"
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it is investigating this case and takes it very seriously. The agency said it attempted to verify Jakadrien's identity before she was deported and found nothing that would make them doubt the fake name and age she had provided to authorities.
Meanwhile, the Colombian government won't release the teen; something everyone involved in this case hopes will change soon.
"It would mean everything to me," Wingo said. "She's a young girl who has her life ahead of her. Her family is wanting her back; she's wanting to come back; and I think that it's just going to mean a lot to get her back. I can't wait to see her."