SoCal Girl Jesse Marie Bender, 13, Destined For Pakistan For Arranged Marriage, Authorities Say
A 13-year-old girl appeared destined for Pakistan from Southern California for an arranged marriage, authorities alleged this week.
AP Jesse Marie Bender
Instead, she apparently ran away and hid out in an Apple Valley hotel room in the Inland Empire.
San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials indicate her mom allegedly told authorities the teen went missing, possibly to meet someone she knew via Facebook, in order to get them to launch a search. What they found?
Jesse Marie Bender of Hesperia hiding out this week in a room with two siblings.
The mom also allegedly said she did not want to go on a family trip to Pakistan. The girl was reported missing Feb. 22.
San Bernardino County Child Protective Services took the kids into custody as they investigate the parents.
If true, we don't blame the teen for clinging to American soil -- and her childhood.