Tuesday, 13 March 2018 16:25

Missing Readfield girl found in Georgia Featured

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SMYRNA, GEORGIA - A 14-year-old girl who vanished from her foster home in Readfield has been found safe in Georgia.

The man accused of luring her there shot and killed himself as police moved in.


It happened  in the small city of Smyrna, which is located outside Atlanta.


According to the Department of Public Safety, police learned Heavenlee Benjamin, 14, left her home on her own accord after meeting Robert Gooden, 35, online.

They say Gooden traveled by bus in late February to meet the girl in Maine and then returned to Georgia with the teen.


Police moved in  and planned to charge Gooden with kidnapping for allegedly luring her away from the custody of her guardians. But they say he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound before they could make the arrest.


Maine officials are now working with Georgia authorities to return Benjamin to Maine.