TBI: Endangered Missouri teen found in N.C.

Courtesy of the Greene County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE: An endangered teen out of Missouri was located in North Carolina Monday.

According to TBI, Harley Hopper was found in North Carolina.

UPDATE: Greene County Sheriff Pat Hankins said investigators are tracking down a new lead in the case of a 13-year-old kidnapped girl and a wanted man.

Hankins told us moments ago his office received a call saying Harley Hopper and Kenneth Whitehead may have been spotted in the Jonesborough and Boones Creek area.

Hankins said the FBI has been alerted.

Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal said Friday that his agency has not received a request to assist in a search for the missing teen.

UPDATE as of 3 p.m.

Greene County Sheriff Pat Hankins confirmed Thursday the ground search for a man and a 13-year-old he allegedly kidnapped from Missouri has been temporarily suspended.

“We searched last night until about 4 a.m.,” Hankins said. “We started searching again back in the same area. We had helicopters here last night and also had a bloodhound. We believed they came out of their campsite area, come back up on the road and went down the road for a short piece in the direction of North Carolina, Hot Springs. We feel like that they may have gotten a ride and was picked up in that area and may have went towards North Carolina.”

“We’re not sure about that and we’re still in the area searching vacant houses and talking to residents in the area,” he said.

UPDATE as of 7:23 a.m.

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Authorities are continuing their search of a missing Missouri teenager and the man police say kidnapped her. Greene County Sheriff Pat Hankins tells News Channel 11 that deputies have been searching all night for Harley Hopper, 13, and Kenneth Dylan Whitehead, 22.

On Wednesday, a Greene County deputy found a car in a remote area of the county with Harper and Whitehead inside. As the deputy left to call for help, both Harper and Whitehead abandoned the car. Hankins said it was later discovered that the car was stolen.

The Sheriff’s Office brought in a blood hound from Nashville to help with the search and the dog was able to track Hopper and Whitehead from the car they were found in to a main road in Paint Creek. The trail ended at the main road and now investigators think the two caught a right with someone.

Sheriff Hankins says they think the two could still be in the area.

Thursday, investigators plan to process the crime scene where the car was found but ask that if you have any information to call the Sheriff’s office at 798-1800 or your nearest law enforcement agency.


A multi-agency search is underway in southern Greene County for a man and a 13-year-old girl he allegedly kidnapped from Missouri.

According to a GCSO news release, the sheriff’s office, the FBI, TBI and the U.S. Forestry Service are currently searching in the lower Paint Creek area of the Cherokee National Forest for Kenneth Dylan Whitehead, 22.

Whitehead is wanted out of Salem, Missouri for a kidnapping a minor.

The 13-year-old kidnapping victim is believed to be Harley Hopper. Hopper is described as being 5-foot-3-inches tall, weighing approximately 200 pounds and may have red hair.

The TBI issued an endangered child alert late Wednesday night.

According to a TBI news release, she was last seen wearing a red and black flannel shirt with long-sleeves and dark pajama pants.

Whitehead is described as being approximately 5-foot-4-inches, weighing around 120 pounds. He was last seen wearing a light colored Khaki shirt and is known to have a knife.

News Channel 11 spoke with an official with the Dent County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri, who confirmed Hopper was kidnapped on Sept. 22.

On Wednesday, a Greene County deputy found a car hit in a remote area of the county with two people inside.

As the deputy left to call for help, the two people abandoned the car.

The deputy later discovered that the two people were Hopper and Whitehead.

The Dent County Sheriff’s Office issued an endangered person advisory for Hopper last week.

According to Missouri authorities, a witness saw Hopper leave her home and get in Whitehead’s car.

Whitehead and Hopper are believed to still be in the Paint Creek, South Greene, Houston Valley area.

Anyone with information on Whitehead and Hopper’s location is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 798-1800 or call your nearest law enforcement agency.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.


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