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Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
Thursday November 29th, 2018 :: 12:54 a.m. EST


FOUND ALIVE: Missing Child: Aubrey Joelle Acree

The following is a statement from the US Department of Justice  Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte, NC.

Press Release for November 20, 2018
Contact: Shelly Lynch, FBI Public Information Officer
[email protected]
FBI & Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Find Missing Girl Alive
The FBI and the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office found 13-year-old Aubrey Joelle Acree safe and alive in Checotah, Oklahoma just before 11:00 p.m., on November 28, 2018.  Troopers with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and special agents and task force officers with FBI Oklahoma City Field Office found Aubrey and arrested 23-year-old Jacob Gardea of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Gardea is facing charges from the state of North Carolina for Abduction of a Child.  Additional charges could be pending.
Investigative work by the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, the SBI, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles led to the exact identity of a vehicle of interest.  Additional investigative work helped pinpoint the location of the vehicle and additional law enforcement partners were deployed to successfully recover the victim more than 900 miles away from her home.              
Aubrey’s family has been notified of this great news and arrangements will be made in the near future to return her home to her loved ones in North Carolina.
Law enforcement is grateful to a keen eyewitness who helped begin our investigative process with a strong lead that brought us to this joyful outcome.
The investigation is ongoing.


UPDATE #2 - Search Continues, Vehicle of Interest Identified

Investigators have identified a vehicle of interest that is believed to be associated with the disapperance of Aubrey Joelle Acree. Leads linked to a white, Subaru, 4 door station wagon are activey being pursued. The model year of this vehicle is believed to be within the 2005 and 2008 production years.

Local, state and federal entities and specialized consultants continue their partnership in locating Miss Acree.

Investigating agencies appreciate the continued community interest, support and information reports made throughout this operation.


UPDATE #1 - Search Continues, Leads Pursued

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office continues its investigation to locate a missing juvenile, Aubrey Joelle Acree.

Since Acree was first reported missing, local, state and federal agencies have been working together in effort to find her. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is also working in tandem and on site with investigating teams.

Through this investigation, a vehicle of interest has been identified: a Subaru, white in color, possibly a station wagon body style.

If you have information that can assist in helping locate Aubrey Joelle Acree, please call Det. Adrienne Wallace at 828-286-2911.

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office greatly appreciates the community support and information received throughout this investigation.

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office seeks your help in locating a missing child: Aubrey Joelle Acree - 13 years old, Female, White, 5'3", 130 pounds, with long brown hair and hazel eyes. 

Acree was last seen in Mooresboro and was wearing a white jacket, leopard colored pants and Converse shoes. 


If you have information that can assist in helping safely locate Aubrey Joelle Acree, please call 828-287-6074.

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office greatly appreciates the community support and information received throughout this investigation.

Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
198 N Washington St
Rutherfordton, NC 28139

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Non-emergencies: 828-287-6247

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