A 16-year-old Shelton girl whose disappearance triggered a statewide Amber Alert was found safe about 3:40 p.m. Wednesday on Agate Road north of Shelton, near Pioneer School.
Deputies say Vivian Gaspar-Guerrero ran away from her home on West Martin Road in Mason County late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, leaving her window screen cut open and her bedroom in disarray. Her parents reported her missing Wednesday morning, triggering a daylong search that included Mason County deputies, but state troopers and the FBI.
“She decided to take off on her own and walked away,” Chief Deputy Dean Byrd said. “She opened the window, cut the screen and left.”
Gaspar-Guerrero was found unharmed when a boy she used to date called deputies to tell them he was with her. Deputies had asked him earlier in the day to report any sightings of her; he called right away, Byrd said.
“He didn’t have anything to do with her running away,” he said.
Deputies are investigating whether the girl arranged items in her bedroom to make it look like a crime scene, Byrd said. If it can be proved that she did, she could face criminal charges, Byrd said, adding that he thinks that’s unlikely.
Gaspar-Guerrero’s distraught parents called authorities about 7:30 a.m. when they found her bedroom empty, with clothes scattered, several items broken and the screen window cut out. Byrd said the teen also left her cellphone in her room, and investigators took that as further evidence she had not left the home voluntarily.
As of noon Wednesday, the FBI had limited access to the rural Mason County neighborhood off West Shelton Matlock Road. A Snohomish County Sheriff’s helicopter searched for the girl as deputies did a ground search.
Gaspar-Guerrero, who will be a Shelton High School junior in the fall, had recently been hired to work part time at a Shelton McDonald’s. There, Jennika Daum, 14, said Gaspar-Guerrero is a year ahead of her at Shelton High School, and the two are friendly. Daum described Gaspar-Guerrero as shy.
“She’s a really good student,” Daum said before Gaspar-Guerrero was found. “She’s not the type of girl who would run away.”
Gaspar-Guerrero’s 13-year-old sister had last seen her at 11 p.m. Tuesday in her bedroom, Byrd said. By Wednesday morning, Gaspar-Guerrero’s father, Salvador Gaspar, was crying in front of a television camera.
“Please let us know where you are,” he pleaded before the camera. “I just want her home safely, and we love her.”
During the news conference after Gaspar-Guerrero’s disappearance, Byrd said that in his nearly 40 years in law enforcement in Mason County, no one had ever been abducted from a home.