HESPERIA (AP) — A Hesperia mother denies that her 13-year-old daughter ran away because she faced a forced marriage in Pakistan.

Melissa Bender of Hesperia told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that no arranged marriage was being planned — only a Pakistan vacation.

Jessie Marie Bender vanished last week. Her mother publicly begged for her return and said she feared the girl had run away with a man she met on Facebook.

After a massive search, the girl was found Wednesday at an Apple Valley motel. Authorities say the family’s Facebook report was false and the girl was hiding with help from an uncle who claimed she was running from a forced marriage.

That claim is being investigated. The girl and her three siblings are in protective custody.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (6)
  1. Mike says:

    Why even go to pakistan. Then what, go sailing in somolia. Run away.

  2. bruce says:

    Why the hell would you want to go to Pakistan right now? or anytime especially being from the US. Sounds fishy to me and I believe the girl is telling the truth.

  3. bruce says:

    Just taking your kids to Pakistan should be considered child endangerment and the kids should be taken from her until she undergoes a mental health evaluation and is cleared

  4. carmadogma says:

    If the allegations were true, then the mother’s explanation would still fit in an attempt to keep everything moving like it was supposed to, or else her husband’s family in Pakistan may find themselves on the receiving end of Shariah law. Sticks and stones do more than break your bones, especially when it is a 20 lb. boulder being smashed onto your head.

  5. Barbee says:

    I agree with you guys this baby just didn’t decide to run away from home and her Uncle certainly wouldn’t be helping her if she weren’t telling the truth. Can’t believe someone would do this to their Child for financial gain she deserves to be put away for life.

  6. Chris Hogan says:

    I knew Melissa Bender in 1992 and she was friction crazy then I can only imagine how much worse she is know!!!! She has 5 kids with five different fathers that tells you a lot. I wish the best for the innocent children that have to go thru this but I’m sure there going to do better without her. Melissa aka misty will rot in he’ll for this!!!!!!!!

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