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Teenager missing for 17 months may be in Washington, police say

Daphne Westbrook, 17, from Tennessee, has been missing since October 2019. Her father John Oliver Westbrook, accused of kidnapping her, has ties to Auburn.

AUBURN, Wash. — Detectives from Tennessee are looking for a teenage girl who has been missing since October 2019. Detectives said her father kidnapped her and her dogs. They believe she could be in Washington state.

Daphne Westbrook is now 17 years old, and for the last 17 months, her mother, Rhona Curtsinger, has been waiting in Chattanooga.

"We just need her to be found so she can get the help she needs before it's too late," said Curtsinger. 

The last time she saw her mother, Daphne took her dogs for a weekend visit with her dad, John Westbrook.

Detectives said John Westbook then kidnapped his daughter, taking the dogs with him. They said she's being held against her will, unable to communicate with the outside world and is in danger, physically and mentally. 

"I love her and I want her to be OK," said Curtsinger.

Credit: Hamilton County DA's Office
Daphne Westbrook and her dad John Oliver Westbrook

Daphne was last seen in Denver, Colorado, but detectives believe she could be with her father in Auburn, staying with his sister Krystalynn Westbrook Martin. Westbrook Martin is said to work at the Auburn Adventist Academy. She's allegedly not being cooperative with detectives. 

Earlier this month, A Grand Jury in Tennessee indicted John Oliver Westbrook with aggravated kidnapping related to Daphne's disappearance.

Detectives said that John Westbrook is an IT expert, which is also making the search difficult. Any communication with him has been untraceable, investigators said. He's used 10 aliases since he's left. 

Detectives said Westbrook may be using hair dye and fake teeth to hide his daughter's identity.

As the search for Daphne continues, her mother holds on to what she can.

"I focus on hope because if I focus on the what if's, I can't move forward," said Curtsinger. 

If you know Daphne's whereabouts or have seen her or her dogs, Fern and Strawberry, call the Hamilton County DA's Office at 1-423-209-7425. You can also email tips to FindingDaphne@hcdatn.org.