Missing teen found in California

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 14, 2008

PENDLETON – A Northampton County teen who has been missing for nearly three weeks is back with her family after being found on the other side of the country.

According to Northampton County Sheriff’s Chief Detective Captain D.M. Harmon, Brittany Elizabeth Newsome, 15, was located on Friday by the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) and has been safely returned to her parents.

Brittany was found in Los Angeles, Calif. and was brought home by her father, Millard S. Newsome, on Saturday.

On June 26, the teen was reported missing by her family from their home on Vaughan Creek Road near Pendleton.

The NCSO was able to locate the missing teen through her MySpace account, which was deleted on July 5. MySpace is a popular social networking web site.

Harmon said through subpoenas, the NCSO was able to obtain the IP (Internet Protocol) address and subscriber information on the computer from which Brittany’s MySpace profile had been deleted.

The NCSO then contacted Los Angeles law enforcement authorities. The Los Angeles Police Department assisted in picking up Brittany. She was taken to a juvenile facility until Mr. Newsome could get an airline flight to California and bring his daughter back to North Carolina.

Harmon said Brittany met a person in California on MySpace and was able to get a bus ticket to Los Angeles. While there, the teen stayed at a home occupied by the person she met on MySpace along with a relative of that person.

Millard Newsome and his former wife, Natalie Grant of Roanoke Rapids, are relieved to have their daughter back.

“She’s doing good…we’re happy to have her home,” said Mr. Newsome. “We are looking into ways to help Brittany and prevent this from happening to other teens.”

Grant said her reunion with her daughter was an emotional one.

“It was wonderful, we hugged and cried a lot,” said Grant. “We are very happy and pleased…we appreciate everyone’s prayers and thoughts.”

Both Newsome and Grant thanked the community’s helpfulness while their daughter was gone.

Newsome thanked those who distributed flyers printed with his daughter’s photos and vital information as well as those out of state who assisted in the return of Brittany.

Grant was also grateful to the community.

“(I want to thank) anyone and everyone who had a hand in the safe return of our daughter,” said Grant.