(WJHL) Police are still searching for a missing Hawkins County teen, last seen with a convicted sex offender.
As of Wednesday night, law enforcement said they have followed every lead, but so far they don’t know where Hayleigh Williams and Benjamin shook are.
“Just a sweet little kid,” Hayleigh’s dad, Eddie Williams, said.
Hayleigh is a 14-year-old, about to start her freshman year at Volunteer High School.
Eddie said his sweet baby girl started to change a few weeks ago. “She started dressing different and her language was different. You know, she just made a 180 degree turn,” he said.
And now Hayleigh is gone. Police said she was last seen with Benjamin Shook, 41, Tuesday morning in Marion, NC.
Police said they believe the two met online through an app called ‘KIK’. She also had two Facebook pages, police said.
“A lot of bad guys hang around on the Internet, pretending to be good people,” said Matt Price, a detective in Sullivan County.
It’s unclear whether Hayleigh knows Shook has an extensive criminal history.
Surgoinsville Police Chief James Hammonds said, “he’s got 9 sexual exploitation’s of a minor, got some sexual batteries, burglaries, thefts.”
Shook is currently wanted out of Georgia for failure to register as a sex offender.
Detective Price is currently not working on Hayleigh’s case, but he has advice for parent’s of children who choose to log on to the Internet.
“If you don’t know who they are in real life, there’s no way you’re going to know who they are in the cyber world,” Price said. “Check their accounts. Know where they’re going and who they’re talking to.”
Eddie said, “if I could say anything to that guy and if he would reason, just bring our girl home safe. just do the right thing, and bring her home safe.”
Police said they may be traveling in a maroon 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac with Tennessee plate D6020D.
If you have any information call police at 1-800 -TBI – FIND.
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