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Missing US girl, 13, fled her home 'to avoid arranged marriage in Pakistan'

London , Fri, 04 Mar 2011 ANI

London, Mar 4 (ANI): A 13-year-old California girl, who had been missing for more than a week, left home as she was terrified of her mother and stepfather's alleged plan to send her to Pakistan for an arranged marriage, it has emerged.


Jessie Bender's parents have been accused of keeping their plan secret from the police after reporting that she had disappeared from their California home.


Their claim that Bender was abducted by a Facebook predator also proved wrong when the girl was found hiding with a relative at a hotel about 30 miles from her home in Hesperia, California.


Hesperia Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Roxanne Walker said Jessie's stepfather, Mohammad Khan-who is from Pakistan-and her American mother, Melissa, were planning an arranged marriage for the teen.


"There was something to that effect in the works and the daughter was scared. She was found with the uncle who was protecting her from the parents," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.


Walker added, "Bender family members misled detectives and withheld critical information and as a result delayed the investigation and recovery of their daughter Jessie Bender."


Jessie's family had reported her missing on February 22.(ANI)


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