UPDATE: Danielle Edson returned home safely as of Monday night, according to her mother. Elko New Market police blamed her disappearance on an attempted runaway, and said the 16-year-old had come home unharmed. Read our original story below.
Lakeville mom Melissa Hartwell Hanson has told local police that her daughter has been missing since Saturday night. On Sunday, Hartwell Hanson took her case public, asking everyone to be on the lookout for her teenage daughter — and the 30-year-old guy who apparently took her away.
Danielle Edson was last seen at a Target in Lakeville, where Hartwell Hanson dropped her on Saturday afternoon. When her mother returned hours later to pick her up, she waited more than half an hour. Finally, she realized Edson wasn't coming out. Later, she learned why.
Saying she'd been in contact with "police, Target, and [Edson's] friends," Hartwell Hanson says her daughter had arranged to be picked up by an adult man, believed to be 30 years old, whom she had met online. Edson and the man were introduced through an app called MeetMe.
The company behind MeetMe has been sued by the City of San Francisco, where City Attorney Dennis Herrerra says the app has been linked to dozens of instances of adult men using the program to meet vulnerable teens. In filing the lawsuit, Herrerra described MeetMe as the"tool of choice for sexual predators to target underage victims."
Target surveillance cameras showed Edson getting into a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse. She did not have her phone with her at the time, and her mom believes she purposely left her identification behind before leaving home on Saturday.
Facebook friends, and friends of friends, snapped into action: Hartwell Hanson's post was shared more than 6,000 times in less than 12 hours.
Anyone with information about Edson's whereabouts should call 911 or the Scott County Sheriff's Office at 952-496-8300.