A missing teenager from North Carolina was rescued by the Kentucky police after she signalled for help by using a hand gesture known on TikTok that also represents violence at home, according to police.
According to CNN, the 16-year-old from Asheville, North Carolina was reported missing by her parents last week Tuesday, November 2 and on Thursday, November 4, a motorist in Kentucky called 911 to report seeing a girl in distress in a vehicle driving on the interstate.
“The complainant was behind the vehicle and noticed a female passenger in the vehicle making hand gestures that are known on the social media platform ‘Tik Tok’ to represent violence at home — I need help — domestic violence,” reads the statement posted on Friday by the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office.
The hand gesture is a one-handed sign that someone can use when in distress, according to ABC7Chicago. Someone using the signal usually holes their hand up with their palm facing out to the camera, tucks their thumb into their hand and then closes their fingers over the thumb to trap it.
Watch the video tutorial below on how to not become a victim by simply using this hand signal:
The police told CNN that the teen learnt the hand gesture on TikTok and the person who called 911 remained behind the vehicle for seven miles and feeding information to the police. Police were able to pull over the car and rescue the teen.
The suspect originally took the teen from North Carolina to Ohio where his relatives stay, police confirmed, and once his relatives found out she was a minor and missing, he took her and left Ohio.
“We don’t know how long coming down the interstate from Ohio that she had been doing this to other motorists hoping that they would notice that she was in distress, but finally someone did recognize,” Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Gilbert Acciardo told WYMT.
Police arrested the man Thursday and charged him unlawful imprisonment and possession of a matter of sex performance by a minor (over 12 but under 18).
United States reopens travel to fully vaccinated South Africans