Bremerton police have reached out to the FBI and asked for help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to find a missing teenager who underwent brain surgery three weeks ago. Her parents say she could die if she is not found soon.
According to an update released late Tuesday, detectives had confirmed Ariel Luddington, 16, and her boyfriend have left Washington state and are likely to be in Oregon. Police also released a surveillance photo showing Luddington with her boyfriend in southern Washington on Sunday.
The release said Luddington had altered her appearance by cutting her hair and removing her glasses. She has also removed a bandage and vein port from her right arm that she has had since her surgery.
Luddington ran away with her boyfriend last week. Her parents said since her surgery, her personality has changed. “She’s not using her best judgment due to the brain surgery,” said Tina Luddington, Ariel’s mother.
On Tuesday, her mother made a public plea for her daughter to come home. “Ariel please, just come home, we can work this out. There’s nothing we can’t work out right now,” said Tina Luddington.
Ariel had an abscess removed from her brain after an infection spread. She also suffers from congenital heart problems. Luddington’s father said he’s angry that her boyfriend, 19-year-old Alex Pequignot, isn’t taking her health issues into consideration.
“It upsets me that he’s made the decisions he has,” said Tim Luddington. “He knew about her mental condition, he knows about her cardiac condition and yet he still chose to go ahead and take her from us.”
Luddington has several weeks of antibiotic treatment because of the remaining abscess, but hasn’t had any medication in nearly a week. “She could die, eventually she could die if she doesn’t seek out medical attention,” said Tina Luddington.
Ariel Luddington is 4 foot 9 and weighs about 100 pounds. She may be staggering and have slurred speech due to the brain surgery.