Mom seeking missing 14-year-old girl who was talking to man online

MOUNT VERNON, WA – A distressed mother in Washington state is pleading for public assistance in locating her 14-year-old daughter, who vanished after allegedly setting out to meet a man she had been interacting with on the internet.

Ella Jones was last seen at her Mount Vernon residence on North 20th Street on the night of January 5. Authorities suspect she departed later that night or in the early hours of January 6, which is when her mother, Sarah Merrill, reported her missing.

Merrill recounted a normal evening before Ella’s disappearance, including a tender moment where Ella expressed her love before leaving the room. The following morning, Merrill discovered Ella’s absence and noticed some of her personal items were missing.

According to Merrill, Ella packed various items, suggesting she planned to be away for a while. The mother immediately started inquiring among Ella’s friends, who expressed immediate concern. Merrill found it unusual for Ella to have no contact with family or friends via phone or social media.

Ella left a note for her mother expressing her love, but that was the last communication Merrill received from her daughter. Merrill described the situation as out of character for Ella, causing great concern among those who know her.

Merrill was informed by Ella’s friends that she had been communicating with an older man online, primarily on platforms like Discord. Merrill had previously disciplined Ella for interacting with the stranger by temporarily confiscating her phone, but she admitted she was unaware of the depth of their relationship.

The friends believe Ella is with the man she met online, though their accounts vary slightly, creating some confusion. The Mount Vernon Police Department is actively searching for Ella, and her electronics have been taken for forensic analysis.

There have been unconfirmed sightings of Ella in different parts of Washington, primarily in the Everett area. Ella is described as a white female, 5 feet 5 inches tall, with brown hair and weighing about 135 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black hoodie, multicolored pajama pants, and black Nike Air Force shoes. She is also believed to have taken additional clothing in a backpack.

Authorities are urging anyone who may see Ella to contact 911 immediately. Anyone with information regarding Ella’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Skagit County Dispatch at 360-428-3211.