Nevaeh Lance, a 16-year-old girl from Asheville, North Carolina, who had been missing since Tuesday, was found in southern Kentucky after a motorcyclist spotted her making a distress signal popularized on the TikTok platform Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.
The teenager was reportedly abducted by James Herbert Brick, a 61-year-old man from Cherokee, North Carolina, driving a Toyota vehicle. Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Brick was arrested after investigators received a 911 call.
According to the police report, the complainant was traveling behind the alleged kidnapper’s car when he noticed the girl making hand signs. Luckily he recognized them as those made popular on the ‘Tik Tok’ platform to represent domestic violence. So he thought the girl was in danger and alerted the police.
In the TikTok SOS sign, which can be performed with one hand, the person raises the hand with the palm facing out, tucks the thumb inside the hand, and then closes the fingers leaving the thumb trapped, the NY Post reported.
Gilbert Acciardo, Laurel County deputy, said the young woman knew the man accused of kidnapping her and had initially left of her own free will with him, but possibly at some point began to fear for her life.
Nevaeh Lance’s parents had reported their daughter missing in Asheville on Tuesday. As the teenager told investigators, she and Brick traveled from North Carolina through Tennessee and Kentucky to Ohio, where the man had relatives.
The incident report also mentions that when relatives realized Nevaeh was a minor and reported missing, the defendant left Ohio with her and traveled southbound. It was there that the young girl began trying to get the attention of drivers on the road to help her.
Laurel police officers caught the subject more than 200 miles from the scene of Lance’s disappearance. They reportedly seized a cell phone in the defendant’s possession, which allegedly contained a photograph of a minor female “depicted in a sexual manner.”
According to the Laurel Sheriff’s Office, James Herbert Brick was charged with unlawful deprivation of liberty of a minor and possession of sexual material. He is being held at the Laurel County Correctional Facility. If found guilty, he could face a steep penalty.