CRIME
01/13/2014 04:47 pm ET | Updated Jun 17, 2015

Monica Helberg, Reported Missing, Found Safe At Moses Lake (UPDATE)

UPDATE: According to The Columbia Basin Herald, Monica Helberg was found safe in Moses Lake on Jan. 15. Helberg was not abducted and traveled willingly with Miles "Logan" Moncada, the newspaper reported.

Orignial report:

Police in Washington state believe a 16-year-old girl who has been missing for five days is endangered and may be with an older man her parents once had a restraining order against.

Kyle Foreman, a spokesman for the Grant County Sheriff's Office, told The Huffington Post investigators believe Monica Helberg is with Miles "Logan" Moncada, a 22-year-old Hispanic male who was recently spotted in New Mexico.

"We had a verified sighting of him at a hotel in Albuquerque, N.M.," Foreman said. "Albuquerque police went to the hotel and found the room to be vacant, but they did find a [box for] black hair dye and disposable razors, leading us to suspect that one or both of them changed their appearance."

While the sighting of Moncada has been verified, Foreman said the clerk at the hotel did not see Helberg.

Family members told police they last saw Helberg at their Royal City home on Jan 8. She watched a movie with her parents that night, but when they got up the following morning she was gone. They haven't heard from her since.

The teen, who suffers from severe asthma, did not take her medication or any personal belongings with her, police said.

The girl's parents, Lisa and John Helberg, could not be reached for comment Monday morning. Speaking with KEPR-TV on Sunday, Lisa Helberg said her daughter has not left without consent since she was 12 years old. On that occasion she was also with Moncada, which led to the restraining order against him, she said.

"As far as my husband and I were concerned, there has been no relationship between them [sic] two," Lisa Helberg told KEPR.

According to Foreman, Monica Helberg and Moncada had a prior relationship, "dating back several years." He also said the restraining order against Moncada, who has no prior criminal record, expired last month.

Moncada's parents told KEPR that their son has been in regular contact with Monica Helberg since the restraining order was lifted. They also said the boy is in love with the girl and would not harm her.

Whatever the relationship may be, authorities are anxious to make contact with the pair to ensure the teen has not been taken against her will. Other than that, Foreman said there is very little authorities can do.

"The sheriff’s office has spoken to the prosecutor's office," said Foreman. "If she's with him of her own free will and she expresses that, there is very little that might be able to be levied against Moncada. [However], if it's found that she was abducted and is with him against her will, then that changes everything."

Miles "Logan" Moncada.

Authorities initially believed Moncada was traveling to California, but the New Mexico sighting has them convinced he is traveling to Crystal City, Texas, where he has family.

Monica Helberg is described as a white female, 5-foot-7-inches tall and weighing 140 lbs. She has brown eyes and long brown hair.

Logan Moncada is 6-foot-1 and weighs 165 pounds. He has brown eyes and short brown hair.
Authorities said one or both of the individuals may have changed their appearance and dyed their hair black. They may also be traveling in a yellow 2014 Ford Focus, with Washington license plate ANR8440.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Grant County Sheriff's Office at (509) 762-1160. Monica Helberg's parents have also created a "Help Us Find Monica" Facebook page to share information on the case.

"We're all concerned about Monica's safety, and her family wants her to come home," said Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones. "At a minimum, we hope she calls home to talk to her parents to let them know she is okay, but certainly having her back home is what we all hope for."

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