A kidnapped Chattanooga teen is reportedly being held against her will by her father in New Mexico and Colorado, according to a news release from the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office.
The 17-year-old Daphne Westbrook, along with her dogs Fern and Strawberry, disappeared from Chattanooga in October 2019 after she did not return home from a weekend visit with John Oliver Westbrook. Since then, her father has been indicted and charged with aggravated kidnapping, but as an IT expert who specializes in security, block chain technology, and Bitcoin, he is communicating in a way that is almost impossible to trace, making it difficult for investigators to obtain leads in the case. He is known to be earning money by contracting with small businesses to do computer security work, the release states.
In February, Daphne Westbrook's Bible was found in a trash can outside Trader Joe's on West Cordova Road in New Mexico. Other investigative leads show John Westbrook is often shopping in Santa Fe stores. In November 2020, the girl was spotted in the Denver, Colorado, area, and in February 2021 John Westbrook spent several weeks in the Pueblo, Colorado, area. John Westbrook is believed to occasionally take his daughter to ride horses, so the DA's office is appealing to the New Mexico horsing community to stay alert.
Daphne Westbrook is increasingly at serious risk of physical and emotional danger and has been unable to communicate with the outside world, according to the release.
Those who believe they may have seen the girl, her dogs or John Westbrook should immediately contact the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office at 423-209-7415 and FindingDaphne@hcdatn.org or the First Judicial District Attorney's Office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at 505-428-6926 and email@example.com.
- Compiled by Kim Sebring