Photo: Getty Images
  /  01.03.2023

Yesterday (Jan. 2), 19-year-old Marisia Burton was found alive. The teen was last seen on Dec. 22 in Orlando, Florida and reported missing by her family. Those close to the situation said her disappearance was unusual and called on the public’s help for a safe return.

On Dec. 30, Grammy-nominated gospel artist James Fortune shared her missing person’s flyer on Twitter. “We really need your help! She’s 19 and has been missing since Dec. 22. Marisia Burton is 5’6 [and] 130 pounds. Her cellphone is going straight to [voice mail], 4K in savings [has been] wiped out and all [of her] social media [has been] deleted. That’s not like her [at] all. Detectives believe she may have been sex trafficked,” his post added. According to Orlando news station WESH 2, the teen was enrolled in the Disney College Program.

Last night, Burton’s family pleaded with social media users to safely intervene when the teen was spotted with an unknown older male. “HELP!!!! MY NIECE SHOWED UP TO A POLICE PRECINCT BACK IN HOUSTON TRYING TO TAKE HERSELF OFF THE MISSING PERSONS LIST WITH A WEIRD MAN!!! THE PRECINCT CALLED MY SISTER AND SAID GET HERE ASAP! WE’RE IN ORLANDO! SHE IS BEING TRAFFICKED!!!”

The relative begged anyone who was available to head to the precinct since Burton’s immediate family was still out of town. “EVERYBODY WHO CAN GET TO 2202 ST. EMANUEL HOUSTON, TEXAS TO STOP THIS MAN FROM TAKING HER!! IF HE LEAVES WITH HER, SHE’LL BE IN MEXICO!!! THIS IS HER IN THE BACK OF THAT CAR AND THIS IS THE MAN SHE’S WITH,” the tweet with photos read.

In a video shared on social media that appears to be from last night, a female law enforcement official addressed the brave individuals who showed up to the precinct. “Right now we have human trafficking experts that are en route… We have an advocate talking to her, and we’re trying to get a better understanding of her side of the story, and so, after that, we’re going to be making sure that the investigators get access to all of the information that we’ve been provided so we can understand, ‘Do we have a human trafficking situation? Do we not?’ Because we don’t know,” the officer told the group.

Today (Jan. 3), local authorities shared a statement. “UPDATE: #MarisiaBurton, who was reported missing on 12/25 in Orange County, spoke in person to Houston Police on Jan 2. Told them she is not missing, is safe [and] wants to be taken out of the missing [person’s] database. We still have no reason to suspect foul play in this case,” the department tweeted.

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