HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A Hawkins County teen in the spotlight of a nationwide AMBER Alert is now facing charges.
About two weeks ago, the alert was issued for Hayleigh Wilson, 14, of Surgoinsville. Police said she was with convicted sex offender Benjamin Shook, 41.
Surgoinsville Police Chief James Hammonds said the two met on online app called KIK. Hayleigh reportedly told him she did not know Shook is a convicted sex offender.
Immediately after she left her home, police filed a petition against Hayleigh as a runaway. Chief Hammonds said this was filed because she left home without permission.
Police also said Hayleigh told them she went with Shook because “she was bored.”
Sixteen days later, both Hayleigh and Shook were found in Atkins, Virginia. According to police, Hayleigh told them they had been living off the land, and she was tired and ready to go home.
Hours after she was found, an additional petition was filed against Hayleigh. The polcie chief said she now faces theft over $1,000.
Police said when the pair left Surgoinsville, they took her stepdad’s truck, which was later dumped in Smyth County, Virginia.
“We are glad to have her back, but she has to take responsibility for her actions,” Chief Hammonds told WJHL.