11-year-old Phenix City girl found safe after three days of missing

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 9:44 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2022 at 4:14 PM EDT
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PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - An 11-year-old girl has been found following a large-scale search, says Phenix City Sheriff Heath Taylor.

Multiple police units were seen at a trailer park in Phenix City Friday morning, November 4.

On November 4, the Russell County Sheriff’s Office, Phenix City Police Department, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI were surrounding Suntrace Mobile Home Park - located on Highway 431.

Heavy police presence at trailer park on Highway 431 in Phenix City
Heavy police presence at trailer park on Highway 431 in Phenix City(Source: WTVM)

Phenix City Chief of Police Ray Smith says the police presence was in connection with the missing 11-year-old Phenix City girl. Officials convened at Russell County Courthouse this morning before moving to that scene.

News Leader 9 reported on November 3 that Juana Gomez was last seen on November 2 - near Martin Luther King Parkway in Phenix City. According to Taylor, Juana went missing on November 1 - however, they did not get the report until Nov. 2.

Phenix City police searching for missing 11-year-old girl
Phenix City police searching for missing 11-year-old girl(Source: Phenix City Police Dept.)

The missing person report was made by someone who claimed to be a family member in the household, according to the Phenix City Police Department.

Our James Giles spoke with Russell County District Attorney-elect Rick Chancey. Chancey says there was an indication the child may have been headed across state lines - which is why the FBI is involved.

34-year-old Jose Gomez, the 11-year-old girl’s father, was arrested on November 3 for “not being forthcoming,” according to Chancey. Authorities are still working to figure out the suspect’s specific charges.

However, Juana Gomez has been found safe and is now with FBI agents.

There are no further details as to the reason for her disappearance.

Stay with us as we continue to follow this story.