A 12-year-old girl from Alabama was acting on her mother’s advice when she ran inside a truck stop near Joplin and sought protection from her stepfather.
The girl’s mother told the Globe in a telephone interview Wednesday that her daughter called her on a cell phone Monday night from the Pilot truck stop.
“She told me what he was doing to her,” the mother said. “I don’t want to go into specifics. I have my daughter to protect. But she told me what was going on, and I told her to go inside and hand the phone to the first person she saw who works there.”
The mother said the girl handed the phone to an employee. The mother then demanded to talk to the manager.
“I told him what was going on and that I wanted the law called,” she said.
Sheriff Ken Copeland said the girl was taken Monday night to the Children’s Center in Joplin for a forensic examination and an interview by child-abuse investigators. Her mother was contacted and arrived in Missouri to pick her up Tuesday morning.
But she has not doubted her daughter’s account since first hearing it from her on the phone Monday night, she said. The mother said she had talked to the girl on previous occasions about appropriate and inappropriate touching by adults, and what she should do if anyone became inappropriate with her. She said they also had discussed the importance of never lying about such a matter or accusing someone falsely.
The girl had accompanied Glover on trips previously, perhaps as many as 10 times or more, and nothing of the sort had happened, the mother said. She acknowledged that this trip with him was longer than any of the previous hauls, beginning as it did in Tennessee and going to California and back.
The mother said she had driven her daughter to Tennessee from Alabama to meet Glover on June 14 at a stop there. The mother said she had been in telephone contact with her daughter several times since then, and the first time she had indicated anything was wrong was Monday night.