Marine arrested after missing 14-year-old girl is found in his barracks

Source: Instagram

Nathan Solis
Los Angeles Times
(TNS)

A girl was found at Camp Pendleton more than two weeks after she had been reported missing, according to her family, who alleges she was raped by a Marine on the military base north of San Diego.

The girl’s aunt, Casaundra Perez, said in a video posted to TikTok on Thursday that her niece, whom she did not identify by name, went missing from her home near Spring Valley on June 10 and was found at the base June 28.

A photograph posted to Instagram by the account notinregz, which shares content submitted by military personnel, shows an unidentified Marine in handcuffs being escorted by military police officers. The post included a photo of what it said was a handwritten logbook from Camp Pendleton that says military personnel found a 13-year-old girl in the barracks June 28. The Los Angeles Times could not verify the authenticity of the logbook page.

A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 5 was taken into custody for questioning by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service the day the girl was found, 1st Marine Logistics Group spokesperson Capt. Charles Palmer confirmed.

The Marine is on active duty and assigned to the battalion stationed at Camp Pendleton, Palmer said.

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A post shared by @notinregz

“This command takes this matter and these allegations very seriously. The incident is under investigation, and we will continue to cooperate with NCIS and appropriate authorities,” Palmer said in a statement.

It is unclear whether the Marine who was taken in for questioning remains in military police custody.

In the TikTok video, Perez alleged that her niece had been trafficked and accused military personnel of trying to “cover up” the case and shift blame to the girl for the alleged sexual assault.

Perez said “security looked her (niece) in the face and allowed this man to bring a minor onto base.”

“Our family is worried about retaliation from the military and the man that has trafficked my niece,” said Perez, who could not be reached for comment.

NCIS spokesperson Jeff Houston said in an email the agency does not comment on or confirm details relating to ongoing investigations.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, a 14-year-old girl who had been last seen June 9 and reported missing by her grandmother June 13 was found at Camp Pendleton. The grandmother said the girl had run away from home before but had quickly returned, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

After the girl was found at Camp Pendleton, sheriff’s deputies reunited her with her grandmother. Detectives interviewed the girl and offered services to the family, according to the Sheriff’s Department, which is supporting NCIS with the investigation.

The department declined to provide additional details about the case because it involves a minor.

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