Local News

'Red flags were raised:' Instinct helps Wake paramedics identify missing child

Posted November 23, 2020 6:37 p.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2020 8:51 a.m. EST

Two Wake County paramedics recently helped identify a missing teenager.

On Oct. 30, Nicholas Naylor and Rick Reynoso responded to a call of a teenager wandering the streets in north Raleigh.

“They called us in for medical as they normally do,” explained Naylor.

Naylor said after responding, treating and transporting the teenager, something didn't feel right.

The girl had been outside all night.

“She really wasn’t opening up and saying very much,” recounted Naylor. “It was hard to get information from her and whatnot.”

Then inside the ambulance she did begin to open up, saying she was from out of state and didn’t have family in North Carolina.

“I have studied about human trafficking, an issue so great around our area, this nation and the world,” Naylor said. “Immediately, when we began to assess this situation, red flags were raised.”

The two paramedics searched online for the teenager's name and found an alert for a missing child from a community in the Northeast.

“I pulled it up and it was her picture, and, oh my gosh, here we go, I got excited obviously,” said Naylor.

He said he got an uneasy feeling too because the girl’s circumstances suggested she might have been a victim of human trafficking.

“I’m like, man, the boxes are kind of checking. We’re in a major area with I-85 and I-40, and things just added up,” Naylor said.

EMS officials could not say whether the child was trafficked.

The two paramedics then advised the hospital where the teenager was taken of the situation, and hospital staff were able to contact her family.

At the hospital, staff and social workers tracked down a family member of the teenager who came to get her.

“There are certain calls that stick with you for the rest of your life, this would definitely be one of them,” said Reynoso.

To protect the girl’s privacy, EMS could not give out any details about her condition or where she’s from, only that she is safe.

“I mean any call that is a positive outcome, that’s what we do this for,” said Reynoso.

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