Teen Girl Saved After Using Viral TikTok Hand Gesture For Abuse

A missing North Carolina girl has been found by law enforcement after she used a hand signal popularized on social media platform Tik Tok to indicate she was in trouble or facing domestic violence.

Kentucky’s Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said they received a tip on Thursday that a female passenger in a Toyota passenger car was making the gesture representing violence at home and calling for help.

Developed by the Canadian Women’s Foundation during last year’s pandemic-induced social isolation, the discrete gesture is a hand up, with the palm extended and the thumb tucked inside. The fingers are then folded over the thumb.

The teen had been reported missing from Asheville, N.C. by her parents on Tuesday. After investigators located the vehicle, they determined she was the missing teen.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested the vehicle’s driver, James Herbert Brick, 61 of Cherokee, N.C. after finding a phone that contained sexual images of a juvenile female. Brick was charged with unlawful imprisonment and possession of material showing a sex performance by a minor over the age of 12 but under age 18. He is being held in the Laurel County correctional center.

According to the sheriff’s office, the teen girl said Brick took her through North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and into Ohio.

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