Missing juvenile from Michigan found safe, Man arrested in Kentucky

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Robert Philips 57_1539788296063.jpg.jpg

LONDON, KY. (WLNS) – A search for a missing Michigan girl that stretched all the way down to Kentucky puts a Jackson man behind bars.

Officials found a 14-year-old missing girl from Michigan in his semi-truck.

This all started on Monday when Jackson Police officials contacted the Kentucky State Police saying a missing Michigan girl was possibly in a semi-truck driving through Kentucky.

“Anytime a child goes missing with an adult that’s not family members, it can be a scary time,” said Jolene Hardesty, the Missing Michigan Children’s Clearinghouse manager.

Police arrested 57-year-old Robert Phillips of Jackson on Monday as he was driving down I-75 near London, Kentucky, which is south of Lexington.

“They often don’t have any control over where they go, or who they come in contact with,” said Hardesty.

Phillips now sits in the Laurel County Detention Center in Kentucky and is charged with “unlawful transaction with a minor” and “possession of marijuana.”

As for the girl, she was unharmed.

“To do the investigation that the Jackson Police Department did, they did an incredible job,” said Hardesty.

Hardesty says her office played its’ part in finding the girl by finding things out such as:  

“What actually happened, where the child was from, confirmed that it was a missing Michigan juvenile,” said Hardesty.

Hardesty says over 800 children in Michigan are missing, which is why it’s important that everyone plays a part in helping ensure they get home safely.    

“We don’t know where they are, we don’t know what they’re doing, and a lot of times they’re at the mercy of anybody and everybody around them, and that’s not always a good thing,” said Hardesty.

Police say the 14-year-old girl was a runaway and asked Phillips to pick her up. She also told police that Phillips rolled up a marijuana joint for her to smoke.

Be sure to stay with 6 News for more on this story as it develops.      

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ORIGINAL STORY: On Monday, October 15, Kentucky State Police Post 11, was notified by Michigan authorities about a female juvenile that was entered as a missing person from the state of Michigan.

Michigan authorities advised KSP the missing juvenile was possibly in a semi-truck traveling through the state of Kentucky. 

KSP Post 11 Troopers and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers attempted to locate the semi-truck on I-75.
 
Trooper Jeremy Elliotte located the semi-truck traveling on I-75 southbound near the 35 mile marker and initiated a traffic stop. 

The female juvenile was located inside the semi-truck unharmed.

The operator, Robert Phillips, 57, of Michigan was arrested and lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center on the charges of Unlawful Transaction with a Minor and Possession of Marijuana.
 
The female juvenile had been entered into NCIC through the state of Michigan as a missing person.
 
The investigation is continuing by Trooper Michael Howell.
 

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