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Missing 13-year-old Texas girl found safe in Mexico after crossing the border to meet older man; Suspect, 29, had been grooming Ashlee Hatermann, for sex-trafficking, online

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Missing 13-year-old Texas girl found safe in Mexico Sunday night, after she crossed the border to meet older man who had been chatting her up online
Ashlee Hattermann skipped school on Friday and headed for Mexico after convincing a stranger to buy her a bus ticket from Katy, Texas to the border town of Laredo
Her parents said they believed the eighth-grader crossed the border to meet a 29-year-old man she had been speaking to on covert texting apps for a year
She was rescued Sunday night from a situation experts described as grooming sex trafficking 
Late Sunday, Mexican authorities tracked the girl down and have returned her to her parents – details of the rescue remain unclear

Ashlee Hattermann, 13, was located with the help of Mexican authorities, though it’s unclear where exactly in the country she was found – or how.
Her parents Keith and Tiffany Hattermann said their daughter left behind a note, indicating she was on her way to meet a man she had been speaking to online for the past year.
‘We found a note in her room,’ Keith Hattermann told KHOU. ‘She calls the guy “daddy” and herself “baby girl.” (The note read) “Daddy owns my body and my soul,” over and over and over again down this sheet of paper.’

After the  teen’s parents discovered their daughter was exchanging graphic sexual images and messages last May through her phone and on social media by using the covert messaging apps.
Her parents took away her phone and limited her internet access in May, after the teen admitted to communicating with a 29-year-old man who lives in Mexico.
The Hattermanns turned her phone over to the Harris County Sheriff Office’s Cyber Crimes Division, but nothing ever came of the investigation, they said.
‘There’s been an ongoing case since May of last school year when she was talking online with a sexual predator,’ her mother told the Houston Chronicle. ‘It was investigated by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and unfortunately they never followed up with it.’
A sheriff’s office spokesman denied this and said the case was very much still open.
A day after Ashlee went missing one of her friend’s revealed she had been communicating with someone on an iPhone for months in the Thornton Middle School library. The parents do not know where and how she got the second phone.
Tiffany Hattermann [the teen’s mother], was the last to see her eighth grader, after dropping her off Friday morning at Thornton Middle School.
‘There was nothing wrong when I dropped her off at school,’ she said. ‘The only thing that threw me off was she told me she loved me when she got out of the car.’
After attending just one class, Ashlee skipped school and headed for a greyhound station, where she convinced a stranger to buy a bus ticket for her to Laredo, Texas, on the Mexican border.
Surveillance footage captured the truant at the bus station, while the woman bought her ticket.

Ashlee hatermann 10.pngLocal authorities in Katy, Texas announced that Ashlee had been found alive and well in Mexico. She was re-united with her father in Mexico, Sunday night
The benefactor called police Saturday morning, when she saw news reports of the missing girl and realized she had been conned. She explained that she was approached by the teen runaway at the bus stop on Friday and was mislead into purchasing the bus ticket to the border.
The good Samaritan said Ashlee told her she was trying to get back to her family in Laredo after spending the week with her boyfriend in Katy. She even threw in lunch:
‘I asked her how old she was; she said 18,’ the woman said.
‘She told me she was here all week, visiting her boyfriend. She told me that [her parents] lived in Laredo and that she had been up here to visit her boyfriend and she was trying to get back to her family.’
Police released a physical description of Ashlee over the weekend and called for the public’s help in locating the teen and late on Sunday night, they got a call from Mexican authorities saying they had spotted the missing teen and were on their way to re-unite her with her father, who had flown down to Mexico City to find his daughter.
Experts said that it appears Ashlee Hatermann represented a classic case of being groomed for sex trafficking.
‘Immediately, it had signs of trafficking 101,’ Debi Tengler, chief relations officer with Arrow Child & Family ministries, told KHOU. ‘Often times it can be a Romeo relationship or a daddy relationship, where they become the caretaker or protector, the one who values and appreciates that child, building a sense of security in them and often times brainwashing them against their healthy, biological family.’

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