Two Missing Girls Found Safe in Franklin County, Mother Charged with Abduction

After three years of being missing, two girls were found safe, and their mother, Lashada Lee, was charged with their abduction in Franklin County. The girls, aged eight and ten, were not enrolled in school while missing, but it appeared someone had been teaching them, said Waynesboro police Chief James Sourbier. They were found safe and healthy, and currently in the protective custody of Franklin County Children and Youth Services.

Lee turned herself in to Waynesboro police, and was calm and articulate when she did, according to Sourbier. She was arraigned and released from Franklin County Jail on $25,000 bail. Police said Lee and the girls were living together at the Mount Vernon Terrace apartments in Waynesboro in March 2020. However, after the girls’ father was granted custody, Lee and the girls disappeared.

According to a criminal complaint, neighbors told police Lee’s car was missing from her assigned parking space at the apartments. Two months after they went missing, police found Lee’s car for sale at a car dealership in Fredericksburg, Virginia. However, it remains unclear what Lee had been telling the children over the years, how far she ran, or whether she was staying in hotels or with friends.

While the girls’ father, John Rex, expressed gratitude that his daughters were found, he believes there are others who helped Lee hide. The case remains open, and investigators are looking for people who assisted Lee. Rex said he has not been able to see or talk to his daughters yet but is looking forward to being reunited with them.

This case highlights the importance of finding missing children and reuniting them with their families, as well as the need to hold abductors accountable for their actions. While it is still unclear how Lee was able to evade the authorities for so long, the fact that the girls were found safe and healthy is a relief for their family and the community.


Janet Donahoe obituary 1935~2023

A graduate of Wilson College and The Catholic University of America, Janet taught English and Latin in Pennsylvania and was a school librarian in Virginia. 

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