SAN DIEGO — The family of a 14-year-old girl who was discovered in the barracks on Camp Pendleton in June is demanding answers.
The girl was reported missing on June 13, four days after running away from home, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. She was found on the Marine Corps base north of Oceanside on June 28.
USMC officials say they questioned a Marine with the Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group, but he was released to his command while the investigation continues.
“My niece was trafficked and potentially purchased by a Marine at Camp Pendleton,” the girl’s aunt Cassandra alleged, speaking to reporters Monday. “She was raped by a Marine at Camp Pendleton. His identity is still unknown to the family.”
The family says it learned this week from Naval Criminal Investigative Service that the investigation into what happened only began a week ago. They say they believe the military is not being transparent and is hiding information, and they want the Marine’s identity released.
FOX 5 reached out to Camp Pendleton and NCIS, which confirm the investigation is active but will not comment further.
So far, no charges have been filed.
The family will not say where the girl, who is under the guardianship of her grandmother, was leading up to being discovered on base, but they say she doesn’t know the name of the Marine. They also say if his defense is he thought she was an adult, that is impossible.
“She looks like a little kid. There’s no doubt about it,” Cassandra told reporters. “She looks like a child, not even if she puts on makeup, she does not look like an adult. She’s not even the size of an adult. It’s very obvious she’s a child.”
The sheriff’s department says an investigation is underway related to sex trafficking, but the family says they are not getting any support or information and have taken matters into their own hands.
The family launched a digital awareness campaign, Justice for Native Kids.
A petition has garnered nearly 10,000 signatures.