DENVER — Authorities issued an Amber Alert for a missing Tennessee teen who may be in Colorado.
Daphne Westbrook, 17, was allegedly kidnapped by her father, John Oliver Westbrook, in October 2019. Daphne, as well as her two dogs Fern and Strawberry, disappeared from Chattanooga after a weekend visit with her father, according to the district attorney's office in Hamilton County, Tennessee.
She was seen in Denver in November 2020 and John spent several weeks in Pueblo in February, the district attorney's office said.
Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston said in an interview that investigators know that John has made relatively recent purchases in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as well, and had been previously known to in Albuquerque when one of the microchipped dogs was turned in and picked up by John Westbrook.
There have been a number of credible sightings of John Westbrook in the Denver area this week, authorities said.
The district attorney's office said Daphne is being held against her will and cannot communicate with the outside world. Based on the investigation, she is increasingly at serious risk of physical and emotional danger.
Pinkston said Daphne has occasionally communicated with a friend back in Tennessee over the past year-plus and said that her computer was behind locked doors and phone was wrapped in aluminum foil so it could not be tracked. He said Daphne told her friend that she had virtually no interaction with anyone besides her father and that she was “very depressed” and expressing suicidal ideations.
John may occasionally take his daughter to ride horses, so the district attorney's office is asking for the equestrian community to keep an eye out for them.
John is an IT expert and specializes in security, blockchain technology, and bitcoin, and is earning money by contracting with small businesses to do computer security work. The district attorney's office said he's communicating in a way that's almost impossible to trace.
If you see John, Daphne or her two dogs, call the district attorney's office at 1-423-209-7415. Send all tips to that phone number or email FindingDaphne@hcdatn.org. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is aiding in the search.