Missing Vancouver teen found safe

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



A missing Vancouver teen, whose family feared she was caught up in sex trafficking, was found Tuesday by police. She was safe and unharmed.

Isabella Castillo, 16, had been missing from her home in Vancouver’s McLoughlin Heights neighborhood for more than two weeks. There was no indication she was involved in sex trafficking during her disappearance; she was staying with acquaintances in Vancouver, said her aunt and guardian, Cymany O’Brien.

O’Brien last heard from Castillo on Monday, March 25, when she received a text message from an unknown number. After talking with Castillo’s friends, she feared the teen was hanging out with another girl involved in sex-trafficking.

A Facebook page created for the search, garnered more than 3,200 likes. O’Brien estimates between 5,000 and 10,000 fliers were handed out in the Portland and Vancouver area, some making their way down the Interstate 5 corridor.

“We’re thankful that she was found safe,” O’Brien said. “We’re humbled by the community support.”

She is also grateful for the Vancouver Police Department detectives, who worked on Castillo’s case.

Castillo stayed at the Oak Grove Youth Shelter in Vancouver Tuesday evening. O’Brien says the family is looking to move forward and grow from the experience.

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