A Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California has been charged in connection with the disappearance of a minor who was found in his barracks two weeks after she was reported missing. The Marine is facing charges of violating the liberty restriction from an earlier, unrelated case, as well as charges related to the minor. The Marine’s identity, as well as the identity of the minor, have not been disclosed.
According to Capt. Charles Palmer, a spokesman for the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton, a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for August 17 to determine whether the case should proceed to court-martial. Further details regarding the investigation, including how the pair met, how the minor gained access to the base, and the duration of her stay, remain unclear.
The minor disappeared on June 9, although she was not reported as missing until several days later due to her history of running away from home. Military police at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near Oceanside located her and questioned her with the assistance of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. She was subsequently released.
Following her discovery, allegations surfaced on social media from family members claiming that the minor had been sold by a sex trafficker and sexually assaulted during the time she was missing. The family has also accused the Marines of attempting to cover up the sexual assault. The minor has since returned to live with her grandmother.
To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation and the subject’s rights, no additional information will be available until a decision is made regarding court-martial.