Missing North Carolina girl found alive in Oklahoma; suspect arrested

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. — The FBI and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office have found 13-year-old Aubrey Joelle Acree.

Aubrey went missing Sunday after she was last seen in Mooresboro.

The sheriff’s office listed her missing person’s alert as being under an “extreme” level of severity, used when there’s “extraordinary threat to life or property.”

Jacob Gardea, 23, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was arrested and charged with abduction of a child. He may face more charges.

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On Wednesday, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office said they were looking for a 2005-2008 white Subaru wagon.

Officials were able to identify the exact vehicle of interest through investigative work by the RCSO, FBI, SBI, U.S. Marshal's Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

From there, officials were able to pinpoint the vehicle's location.

They found Acree just before 11 p.m. Wednesday more than 900 miles away from home in Checotah, Oklahoma.

Officials have notified her family and are working on plans to get her home.

"Law enforcement is grateful to a keen eyewitness who helped begin our investigative process with a strong lead that brought us to this joyful outcome," the FBI said in a statement. 

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