Surprise Police: Missing teen returned to legal guardian
Na Leisha Cotton; James Cotton.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -
Surprise Police say officers returned Na Leisha Cotton to her home early Friday morning.
The 13-year-old girl had been missing since New Year's Day when she left the residence with her father, James Cotton. According to police, James had no legal custody rights to his daughter.
Police say just before 5:30 a.m., the victim called 911 and told operators that James spoke with her on the phone and during the conversation, he stated he was returning to the residence.
Officers went to the home and were present when James arrived with Na Leisha, however James didn't stop after seeing officers and fled the area with the teen in the victim's stolen vehicle.
A short time later, police found James walking with Na Leisha in an area not far from the home. Authorities say after a brief foot pursuit, James was taken into custody and Na Leisha was safely returned to her legal guardian.
James Cotton was arrested and booked into the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's 4th Avenue Jail for custodial interference, theft of means of transportation and resisting arrest.
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