James “Buck” Ervin
By Alan Reed, News Staff Reporter
FREDERICKTOWN — The three-week search for a missing Fredericktown teen has ended after Mercedes Erwin returned safely to her home early this morning.
Erwin, 17, was reported missing on April 4 when she did not return home from school at the Knox County Career Center that day. Local law officials believed Erwin could possibly have been with a male companion, James Ervin, 22, Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon Police Detective Jeff Jacobs reported that Erwin called a friend while in New York who then brought her home to Knox County around 2:30 a.m. today. Erwin was taken to the MVPD for an interview before returning home with her mother.
“She appears to be fine and unharmed,” said Jacobs after Erwin returned home today. Erwin claims to have received rides from strangers in traveling to New York. She reportedly was scared from events which had occurred at a friend’s residence where she had been staying after items stolen from a pawn shop were recovered at the scene.
The whereabouts are still unknown on James Ervin. A warrant still remains out for his arrest.