Kidnapped Teen Rescued After Using Hand Signal She Learned on TikTok

The hand sign is a way of seeking help without having to verbalize it.

A missing teenager from North Carolina used a hand signal she learned on TikTok to alert a passing car that she was in trouble, leading to her rescue.

The 16-year-old girl flashed the gesture, which caught the attention of a good Samaritan, who then called 911 as they traveled down the highway in Kentucky.

“I’ve been following this Toyota Corolla from Madison County. The female in the passenger’s side, brunette, is motioning for help, call 911,” the 911 caller said.

The teen apparently learned the hand signal after watching a demonstration on TikTok showing a woman using it as her abuser stood in the background. You make the gesture by putting up your palm, tucking your thumb in and covering it with your fingers, as seen in the video above.

The demo was developed by the Women’s Funding Network and became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, because many victims had to quarantine with their abusers. The sign was a way of seeking help without having to verbalize it.

After the 911 call, police intercepted the vehicle as it exited the highway. They found the 16-year-old girl and a 61-year-old man behind the wheel. 

She told authorities that the suspect had driven her on a terrifying odyssey through North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky and that she had been attempting to get somebody’s attention for days.

Finally, somebody recognized the hand gesture. 

James Herbert Brick was arrested at the scene and charged with unlawful imprisonment.

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