WASHINGTON - Two teenage cousins from Washington D.C. were reported missing last week, but are home safe thanks to two New Jersey police officers.
The two girls, ages 11 and 17, were both reported missing on Jan. 5. On the following day, officers in Haddon Heights, New Jersey spotted a disabled U-Haul van with Arizona plates on the side of the road. After checking things out, they discovered there was no furniture or personal possessions inside the vehicle.
At a nearby restaurant, the officers located the missing girls along with four men who were arrested.
The Haddon Heights Police Department posted about the arrests on its Facebook page with a link to FOX 5’s story about the missing cousins. Haddon Heights is about 140 miles away from Washington D.C.
The police department said one of the officers was told the group of six were heading to New York City in the U-Haul van to visit family. The officers then learned the four men in the group gave false information and were in possession of drug paraphernalia. The men were charged and the two juvenile females were identified as the missing girls from D.C.
We are told the men were not charged in connection to any human trafficking charge.
D.C. police said in a statement, "While we haven’t ruled anything out, we have no reason to believe human trafficking was involved in the two cousins who were reported missing on January 5, 2018. We appreciate the work of officers with the Haddon Heights Police Department who helped the girls reunite with their families."
The police chief for the Haddon Heights Police Department did not release any additional details, including why the men were arrested and for what charge, due to the ongoing investigation. However, he did say the four suspects have been released and are no longer in custody.