Authorities are searching for a missing 13-year-old Hesperia girl whose family fears may have fled with a person she met online, officials said.
Jessie Bender is a student at Cedar Middle School and was last seen early Monday morning.
"We were up late having a good time, laughing and hugging each other and playing," Melissa Bender, the teen's distraught mother said. "She gave me a kiss on the cheek and said she was going to bed."
A few hours later, Melissa Bender heard a noise downstairs, went to investigate and found Jessie in the kitchen.
"She told me she was getting a drink of water," the mother said. "That was the last time I saw her until we all woke up at 6:45 in the morning and she was gone."
Child Quest International and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Hesperia station have put together a missing person flier asking for help in locating the girl.
What scares friends and family the most is the discovery that she may have run off with a boy or man she met online.
"On her Facebook, it says she had a boyfriend and that he's from Illinois," Melissa Bender said. "We're not sure if that's true or not, but it really looks like that's what happened."
Authorities are concerned for her safety because the teen had been suffering from seizures within the past two weeks and she doesn't have any medication for the condition.
According to her mother, the teen is a good student who had plans to attend the University of Southern California and become a doctor.
"I can't believe she would do something like this," her mother sobbed.
Jessie stands about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs about 120 pounds, has green eyes and brown shoulder-length hair.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Hesperia station at (760) 947-1500.
Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.