Police are questioning a Level 1 sex offender after a 16-year-old special education student disappeared for some 15 hours, but was later found safe.
Terrence D. Powell, 21, was found with the girl in a Tacoma home following an Amber Alert.
Police said the girl, who is described as having the mental capacity of a 9-year-old, was also being questioned Wednesday before being returned to her parents. Her father is a Pierce County Sheriff’s Department detective.
The girl was at Tower Bowling Lanes with other members of the Wilson High School bowling team for practice, but the coach or supervisor may not have been there at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday when she disappeared, police said. She was seen on surveillance video walking away with Powell.
“She’s very loving, very trusting young girl,” said Pierce County Sheriff's Department Capt. Brent Bomkamp “Somebody could come to her and befriend her and she would believe they have her best interests in mind right away.”
An Amber Alert was issued early Wednesday and police searched for her with tracking dogs and officers going door-to-door. A tip led investigators to the home of a Powell acquaintance.
Powell's Level 1 classification is the lowest level and applied to people, many of them first-time offenders, considered at minimal risk to reoffend.