JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Veronica Lueck, 13, and Kamryn Lueck, 9, have been located safe and are reunited with family after disappearing Thursday night.
Police say they left after an argument at their Hyde Park home and ordered an Uber to their friend’s house across town.
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Investigators were able to find the girls after the Uber driver came forward Friday morning to tell police where he’d dropped them off.
A Hyde Park neighbor, who asked not to be identified, says the Uber driver’s role brings mixed emotions.
“My understanding is the Uber drivers aren’t supposed to pick up under 18, or children specifically,” he said. “But at least the story had a good outcome.”
Uber’s website says children can’t ride alone. The company’s policy states the following on passengers under the age of 18:
“You must be 18 years or older to have an Uber account. This means that you must be at least 18 years old to ride on a bike or scooter or unaccompanied in a car. Adults can’t request a ride for someone under the age of 18 or allow children to ride alone—they must be accompanied by an adult. When ordering food, children are also not allowed to use an adult’s Uber Eats account by themselves.”
An Action News Jax investigation caught Uber drivers picking up unaccompanied kids in May 2018.
With their parents’ permission, our cameras were there as local teenagers ordered rides and got into Ubers with complete strangers.
Uber told us at the time that drivers are supposed to ask for ID if they think a passenger’s underage.
"He just drove us here after we got in,” the teen told Action News Jax Investigator Christy Turner in May of 2018. “No questions asked."
Neighbors say they’re relieved the girls are home.
“That’s always devastating. No parent wants their child missing,” said the neighbor.
We contacted Uber requesting comment on why the driver picked up the unaccompanied girls and the company’s stance on his role in helping police locate the girls.
As soon as we have a response, we’ll be sure to update you.
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