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Mar 1, 2016

The Brooke Bridges disappearance: My thoughts

Authorities in Alabama haven't been able to locate Brooke Bridges over the course of the past month, which troubles me. The 16-year-old girl was last seen on Feb. 7 in the home she shares with her family, but seemed to vanish from the residence sometime in the middle of that night.

When her parents found that she was missing from their home, they also found that the front door of the residence had been left opened. This detail has added further distress to Brooke's parents, who don't know what to think about her disappearance. She has no reported history of running away, which is another detail of interest. However, it should be noted that there is always a first time in any case of a teenager running away. While no prior history of running off is indeed something to worry about in a disappearance like this, it's important to keep in mind that there are still very few details in this case -- not enough on which to draw a conclusion.



A disturbing detail that should be given a lot of attention, however, is the fact that the FBI is involved in the search for Brooke Bridges. The FBI rarely gets involved in disappearances unless they have reason to believe that a kidnapping is possible. Meanwhile, news reports have indicated that social media is being examined in the search for the missing Alabama teenager. Could Brooke had been lured away from her home by an internet predator? It's not an improbable scenario, which should indeed give her parents reason to fear.

With it being approximately a month since Brooke was last seen, it's getting harder and harder to believe that she is voluntarily missing. With no history of running away from home, Brooke doesn't possess the experience to care for herself while on her own without the support of her parents -- on whom she has relied throughout her entire life. This would mean that somebody would have to be harboring her, creating a dangerously illegal situation as Brooke's case gets more and more media attention. It wouldn't take very long for Brooke to show back up at her family home under these typical circumstances if she had indeed vanished on her own free will.

If somebody did indeed lure Brooke Bridges away from her home last month, where could she possibly be? Is she even alive? While statistics are stacked against the missing teenager under this kind of scenario, it's important to keep in mind that many people have survived after being held captive for months -- and even years. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were each missing for around a decade before they were rescued from the captivity of Ariel Castro. Another teenager who recently made media headlines is also the alleged survivor of a kidnapping. Abigail Hernandez was 15-years-old when she vanished while walking home from school in 2014. Nine months later she showed up at her family's home after allegedly enduring sexual assaults and imprisonment at the hands of a local man.

What I think happened to Brooke Bridges
I can't honestly form a solid opinion on this suspicious disappearance. On one hand I want to believe that she voluntarily took off -- for the first time -- as a runaway. But even under this scenario, the 16-year-old Alabama teen faces a myriad of dangers, many of which could end in her demise. Even as a runaway, this young girl is in danger and needs to be located for her own safety and well-being.

On the other hand, I am worried about the circumstances that do exist in her disappearance. The fact that her family's front door was left opened disturbs me. If this teenager had in fact left her residence voluntarily, why would she leave the front door open? Perhaps so as not to make much noise to alert her parents of her actions, but opening it would present the same problem. Sneaking out of her bedroom window would be the more logical -- and common -- mode of escape for any teenager sneaking out of their home after the parents have gone to sleep. So the opened door has me wondering what happened to Brooke.

The TLDR version:
I suspect that Brooke did not intend on leaving her home the night (or early morning) that she vanished. Whether that means she was snatched by an intruder or lured out by a predator that she met online is a mystery at this point.

Please feel free to share the flyer below, to help spread the word about the strange disappearance of Brooke Bridges.

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