Officials: 13-year-old found safe in Mexico after running away to meet man she met online

TEXAS – A 13-year-old girl who allegedly ran away to meet a man she met online was found safe in Mexico, according to authorities.

Ashlee Hattermann’s family members say they didn’t even know she was missing until receiving a call from a school official. That official ultimately told them that Hattermann had only been to one class on Friday.

Security footage reviewed by police showed Ashlee at a bus stop that day, waiting for a bus going to Laredo, Texas.

“She convinced a woman she was trying to get back to Laredo to get to her family,” said Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Thomas Gilliland.

Officials say the woman bought Ashlee a bus ticket.

By late Friday, authorities confirmed that Ashlee had crossed into Mexico.

Her parents said they were worried she was going to meet a man she met online.

“In June, the family had reported there was some improper online contact occurring between their daughter and some individual, possibly in Mexico. They were able to cut off the phone and internet service, but apparently this individual, as manipulative as they are, was able to furnish her with a phone or through other resources, and was able to continue to communicate with her,” said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

Hattermann’s parents told the Houston Chronicle they took her phone and internet access away after finding out about the messages.

“There was nothing wrong when I dropped her off at school,” Tiffany Hatterman, Ashlee’s mother, said. “The only thing that threw me off was she told me she loved me when she got out of the car.”

Authorities in Mexico found the teen safe Sunday night at a residence in Mexico City.

Officials told KTRK, they don’t believe the man has been found yet.