A 38-year-old man is facing charges, and a 17-year-old Arizona girl has been reunited with her mother after she was reported missing earlier this week.
Ke’Mya Smith of Phoenix first disappeared over the weekend and was later found, but then she disappeared again on Monday, according to authorities. The girl allegedly got on a Greyhound bus and traveled to Chicago, where she met up with a 38-year-old man.
Chicago police issued a missing persons alert for Smith on Tuesday, and she was located a short time later.
Sharon Bean, the girl’s mother, says that Smith ran away to meet 38-year-old Vincent Stewart, whom the girl allegedly met online.
Now, Stewart is facing charges of domestic battery in Skokie and is facing charges of harboring a runaway in Chicago, and Bean does not want any other family to have to deal with the fear and trauma that she endured while her daughter was missing.
“I didn’t want this to be treated as another runaway just because she did leave her home,” she said. “She didn’t want to stay (with him), and I just want this man off the streets so this can never happen to anyone else’s child.”
In a court appearance in Skokie Thursday, Bean said that Stewart “manipulated” her daughter, and pleaded with the judge to set a high bond in the case.
“This man went online and manipulated my daughter, and I just want some justice for this,” she said.
Stewart was ordered held on $500,000 bond.
“This guy is a bad guy,” victim’s advocate Dawn Valenti said. “He is a 38-year-old man who preys on young girls. We want to make sure he is not on the street.”
In a press release issued Wednesday, Valenti said that Smith ran from Stewart’s home “with no shoes on” after being abused by the man “as soon as he picked her up from the Greyhound station.”
Valenti also said that Bean has obtained an order of protection in an Arizona court.
“What I take away from this is that sometimes girls go missing on their own, but they don’t necessarily stay gone on their own, and this is a case like that,” Valenti said.