UPDATE: Daphne Westbrook, an 18-year-old who has been missing since October 2019, was found safe in Samson, Alabama, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced.
Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston said in a statement an investigation remains active.
"We are thankful Daphne is safe and no longer being held by her father," District Attorney Pinkston said. "It is especially gratifying to be able to tell her mom that Daphne is free and no longer being hidden. This doesn’t change our goal to find and prosecute John Westbrook. Our investigation remains active and we expect new developments within the next couple of weeks."
This is a developing story. Stay with WRCB for updates.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued an Endangered Child Alert for now 18-year-old Daphne Westbrook, who has been missing since October 2019.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Friday that a new lead has placed John Westbrook and his teen daughter, Daphne Westbrook in Florida a week ago.
The post on the TBI's Twitter page says that Westbrook could be driving a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle, with fading orange paint and body damage. The VW has no license plate and is missing its rear windshield.
Westbrook and his daughter are at the center of an AMBER Alert that was issued earlier this week.
If you have information about the two, you're asked to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an AMBER Alert for Daphne Westbrook and her father, John Westbrook Wednesday afternoon.
The AMBER Alert was issued for the missing Chattanooga teen for the 'unique circumstances' surrounding the case. A warrant has been issued for a qualifying crime in Tennessee, the TBI says.
Authorities believe John Westbrook may have traveled to the western United States with Daphne. He has known contacts in Colorado, New Mexico, California, and Washington.
The two could be anywhere, the TBI said in a series of posts on Twitter.
In recent weeks, evidence uncovered during the investigation into John Westbrook has led authorities to become increasingly concerned for Daphne’s wellbeing.
READ MORE | Mother of a 17-year-old kidnapped by father in Chattanooga speaks out
Daphne is described as 5’3”, 110 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen in Chattanooga in October 2019, and did not return from a weekend visit with her non-custodial father, John Westbrook.
In June 2020, authorities in Hamilton County secured a warrant, charging John Westbrook with Custodial Interference, and in October, TBI placed Daphne on their Missing Children website.
On February 23, 2021, a Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted John Oliver Westbrook, charging him with Aggravated Kidnapping in connection to Daphne’s disappearance. He’s 6’4”, 200 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.
Authorities believe John may have traveled to the western United States with Daphne. He has known contacts in Colorado, New Mexico, California, and Washington.
Because Daphne Westbrook is not in Tennessee, The TBI says they will not send text alerts nor utilize the TDOT interstate signage that's usually employed for such cases.
PREVIOUS STORY: A Tennessee man who has been indicted and charged with aggravated kidnapping is suspected of holding his 17-year-old daughter in possibly two different states in the western U.S., according to the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office.
John Oliver Westbrook kidnapped his daughter, Daphne Westbrook, in October 2019, according to the DA's office. Daphne disappeared, along with her dogs, Fern and Strawberry, from Chattanooga after failing to return home from a weekend visit with her father.
Daphne is being held against her will, the DA's office said via news release and is unable to communicate with the outside world. Their investigation shows she is endangered both physically and mentally.
Daphne’s Bible was found in a trash can outside Trader Joe’s on West Cordova Road in New Mexico last month.
Other investigative leads show her father is frequently shopping in Santa Fe, New Mexico stores. In November of 2020, Daphne was seen in the Denver area, and just last month, John Westbrook spent several weeks in the Pueblo, Colorado area.
John Oliver Westbrook is an IT expert specializing in security, block chain technology, and bitcoin.
The DA's office say Westbrook is communicating using methods that are almost impossible to trace, compounding the work of investigators. They understand he is earning money contracting with small businesses to do computer security work.
It is also believed that Westbrook does occasionally take Daphne to ride horses.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies are said to be working with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office to safely find Daphne.
If you’ve seen Daphne, her father, or her dogs please immediately contact the following:
Hamilton County, TN DA’s Office - 423-209-7415
DAPHNE TIPS email: FindingDaphne@hcdatn.org
1st Judicial DA’s Office Santa Fe Investigations Tip Line 505-428-6926
CID TIPS email: email@example.com