(WJHL) – A week after a Tri-Cities girl went missing, many in our region want to know: where is Hayleigh Wilson?
On Wednesday, an AMBER Alert was issued. Police said 14-year-old Hayleigh Wilson left her home Monday, June 22nd. Police believe she’s with Benjamin Shook.
Both were last spotted on surveillance cameras at a gas station in Sugar Grove, Virginia.
Investigators believe the two haven’t gone far and continue to comb through the Jefferson National Forest for signs of Hayleigh or Shook.
From the beginning officers have said they are concerned about Hayleigh.
They said Hayleigh and Shook met through an app called ‘KIK’.
More than a decade earlier, court documents state Shook met a young girl in a very similar situation.
Surgoingsville Police Chief James Hammonds said, “he’s got an extensive criminal history.”
According to court documents News Channel 11 obtained out of Habersham County, Georgia, Shook pled guilty to Child Molestation and Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes. The documents state he solicited a girl, under 16, through the computer. It states Shook then molested her.
Shook was sentenced to one to 20 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.
Not even a month after the prior incident, police charged Shook for more child sex crimes, just across the county line, in Banks County, Georgia.
Documents state in July of 2004, he had sexually explicit images of someone under the age of 18 on a computer. According to court documents, he pled guilty to seven counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children.
A year later, Shook was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, ten of which he would spend on probation, as long as he complied with the sex offender registration laws.
The two sentences in Banks and Habersham County ran concurrently.
Shook was then released from prison in September of 2014. At that point he was required to register as a sex offender with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. According to officials, he failed to do that.
That’s when a federal case began and a warrant was issued for Shook on September 11, 2014.
According to the GBI, Shook never told them he was leaving the state of Georgia.
In February of this year, federal documents cite he applied and received a temporary ID card from the Tennessee Department of Safety.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also said Shook never registered with them as a convicted sex offender.
Four months later, an AMBER Alert was issued for Hayleigh and Shook.
Hayleigh’s father, Eddie Wilson, said “it’s just terrifying to know you’ve got a 14-year-old child in the hands of someone like that.”
Just last week the United States Marshals Service filed a warrant for Shook’s arrest. They’re also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Shook’s capture.
Investigators are working around the clock to bring Hayleigh home safely. If you have seen Hayleigh or Shook, call: 1.877.WANTED2.
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