Family grateful teen was found

Created: 04/17/2014 10:11 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The parents of a 14-year-old girl who was missing for more than two weeks are on their way to get her.

“Ecstatic, I can't even contain myself right now, I'm just ready to go hug her, hold her,” Jessica DeWent said.

Her daughter, Lacey Dewent, was found safe and the man she was with was taken into custody. Lacey Dewent and the man she was with, Robert Butler, went from New Mexico to Oklahoma to Texas to Arkansas. They were found Thursday in a parking lot and had both dyed their hair.

Daniel DeWent knew Lacey was outgoing, athletic and loved the outdoors.

“We went camping, she grew up in campgrounds and hiking and the wilderness, she's just a calm, peaceful spirit you know,” DeWent said.

What he didn’t know was that she was texting Robert Butler, a man she met on a dating site, or that Butler was 26 and had plans to lure her out of state.

“This guy is a predator, he told her what she wanted to hear, she fell victim to him,” DeWent said.

That secret and what followed haunted Daniel DeWent for more than two weeks.

“It was hard. At night is the worst, you don't sleep, that's when your imagination gets the worst of you; constantly running everything over in my mind, did I miss something, was there something else I could tell he police or the marshals, what else can I do, and it's just an incredible feeling of hopelessness and helplessness and there is nothing you can do,” DeWent said.

DeWent was found Thursday after multiple tips and leads. DeWent hopes other parents learn from this, and that they hold their kids a little tighter.

“Just hug your kids every night. Cause you never know,” DeWent said.

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