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Ohio Amber Alert Sparks Urgent Search for Man With Weapon

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An Amber Alert was issued in Ohio on Saturday for a 15-year-old girl believed to be abducted, sparking a search for a man who is considered to be armed and dangerous.

According to the Grove City Police Department, 15-year-old Kaylee Cope was abducted by her 17-year-old boyfriend Jeffery Brian Gimenez in Grove City, Ohio, in Franklin County on Friday night around 11:30 p.m.

Police say Cope’s mother, Heather Zogleman, reported on Saturday morning that her daughter left home early Friday night and could not reach her by phone. The teenager has not been seen since.

Gimenez is not only considered to be armed and dangerous, but is also wanted out of Pickaway County for robbery. Meanwhile, he was last seen on social media on Friday with a gun, making statements that “he has a bullet” for Cope, according to police.

“Officers learned Kaylee was with her boyfriend Jeffrey and he posted a video on social media of him holding a gun. He currently has warrants for robbery and kidnapping out of an incident in Pickaway County,” the Grove City Police Department said in a statement emailed to Newsweek on Saturday afternoon.

Kaylee Cope
An Amber Alert was issued in Ohio on Saturday for 15-year-old Kaylee Cope, inset, who is believed to be abducted, sparking a search for a man who is considered to be armed and dangerous.

Grove City Police Department

Cope is described as 5 feet tall, weighs about 100 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink crop top and grey sweatpants.

Gimenez is described as 5 feet and 4 inches tall, weighs about 90 pounds, and has black hair and blue eyes.

Although the current whereabouts of Cope and Gimenez are unknown, the Grove City Police Department recovered a stolen vehicle in the area of Sullivant Avenue in Columbus and is believed to be connected with this case.

Anyone with further information about the whereabouts of the two teenagers, should call 911 or the Grove City Police Department.

Cope’s disappearance comes as Amber Alerts have continued to been seen across the country. In 2022, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs and Amber Alert published a report, showing that there were 227 Amber Alerts involving children in different states across the U.S.

“Of the 181 AMBER Alerts issued in this time frame, 180 cases resulted in a recovery, 16 of which were successfully recovered as a direct result of an AMBER Alert being issued,” the agencies said in a 2022 report. “As of March 10, 2023, when statistics for this report were finalized for the AMBER Alerts issued in 2022, one child remained actively missing and four children were located deceased.”

Amber Alerts first began in 1996, following the abduction and death of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Texas.

“Once law enforcement has determined that a child has been abducted and the abduction meets AMBER Alert criteria, law enforcement notifies broadcasters and state transportation officials,” the DOJ Office of Justice Programs states. “The AMBER Alert program as of December 31, 2023, has contributed to the recovery of 1,186 children and wireless emergency alerts resulted in the rescue of 165 children. There are 82 AMBER Alert plans throughout the United States.”