"The occupants refused us entry, wouldn't talk to us or give us any information," Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Watson told the Detroit Free Press. "We ended up having to serve a search warrant to get inside."
With the search warrant in hand, his team combed the house while they kept all four of its occupants in the living room. Watson questioned one of the occupants, an 18- or 19-year-old man who allegedly had been seen leaving another house with the girl that day, and said the man acted like he didn’t know where the child was.
As he was conducting the interview, Watson said his team found the girl in a hallway closet just a few steps away from where he was standing.
The house did not appear to be the site of a human trafficking operation, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The teenager was transported to a hospital by Child Protective Services, and medical staff discovered she was pregnant.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Watson told the Detroit Free Press the girl was crying when found. "She didn't know where she was going to go. She was pretty terrified," he said. "And she was afraid of losing her baby."
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Officials said the mother is believed to have found the girl after she ran away from the foster care system. The mother is accused of then moving her daughter from house to house until she was found.
Watson noted the girl "was ecstatic" after authorities reunited her with her biological father. He added, "She was afraid that if she was found, she would go back in the system. ... She was just, 'I wanna be with my dad. I wanna be with my dad.'"
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