- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 27, 2007

BALTIMORE — A 14-year-old girl from suburban Harford County who had been missing for five days was recovered late Friday from a home in West Baltimore.

The recovery ended a grueling ordeal that began when Elizabeth Carter, a minister’s daughter, took a taxi from her home to a movie theater a week ago.

“We have our daughter alive, praise God,” said Martha Carter, Elizabeth’s mother. “It is an absolute miracle.”

State and city police raided a home on North Longwood Street after getting a 911 call from a nearby resident who saw Elizabeth’s picture on television, said First Sgt. Russell Newell, a Maryland State Police spokesman.

Elizabeth was taken to Mercy Medical Center for treatment. She was interviewed by detectives and released to her parents.

Officers took more than 10 occupants of the home into custody. State and city police have not released information about the arrests or the charges the occupants were facing.

“She was a victim of crime,” Mrs. Carter said. “She said she’s barely eaten anything for six days. She’s lost 22 pounds.”

Elizabeth was robbed of her possessions, and at one point was forced to sleep outside, Mrs. Carter said.

The girl took a taxi on the afternoon of Jan. 21 from her Fallston home to a movie theater in White Marsh, expecting to meet friends. When her friends didn’t show, she ended up going to a movie with a couple of strangers and, “in her words, that’s where it all went downhill,” Mrs. Carter said.

According to police, Elizabeth went with two Baltimore men to a motel near Route 40 in northeast Baltimore, a highway dotted with cheap motels, liquor stores and so-called “adult-entertainment” establishments. She left the motel Monday evening, and investigators were unable to trace her whereabouts after that.

“She was in the company of numerous adults and other individuals during her stay at various locations throughout the Baltimore area,” Sgt. Newell said.

Mrs. Carter is the pastor of the Cellar Community House Church, a small, nondenominational Christian congregation. She said Elizabeth is home-schooled and has few friends or acquaintances outside her family and her church.

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