Following more than seventy-two hours of police searches, and prayers 16-year-old Arissa Farmer was found safe Thursday, February 1st at 2am. She was over three-hundred miles away from her hometown of Trumann, in Oneil, Nebraska. 52-year-old Craig Gillum faces felony charges for child trafficking.
Arissa Farmer's parents released a statement to Trumann Police stating, "We are all so exhausted, as we've been running on adrenaline since this thing started. We'd like to thank the countless man hours that have been put in by the officers, to make this day happen."
There is also a large amount of gratitude for Arissa's pastor, John Dillinger of Northeast Arkansas Baptist Church. Dillinger organized a city-wide prayer vigil and service.
"A lot of times we think, this is just an LA, or New York, or Chicago problem, but if it can happen in Trumann Arkansas, it can happen in any town in America," says Dillinger. "Just relieved, thankful, and praiseful, and all kinds of emotions."
Members are also planning actions to prevent further missing child cases, including working with state legislatures, to get stricter Internet Safety laws passed.
"We're just going to continue to pray for her and pray for the family," Dillinger adds. "Pray that something like this doesn't happen again to anyone."
Arissa will likely receive counseling and therapy. Trumann Chief of Police Chad Henson celebrates Arissa's homecoming, as the department's mission to end child predators continues.
"I cannot say enough about the men and women in law enforcement that just didn't give up," says Chief Henson. "You need to have a conversation with your children. You need to tell them, "it's my job to protect you, and so I need to know what you're talking about on these communication devices.""
Gillum will be extradited from Nebraska to Arkansas to face charges. The Trumann Police are working in connection with the Department of Human Services to assist with Arissa's return to the state.