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12-year-old back home in Louisiana; man charged with rape

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Mom says return of girl 'greatest feeling in the world'
  • The missing 12-year-old was found in Shreveport on Wednesday morning
  • Suspect Henry Lee now faces a charge of aggravated rape
  • Girl's mother: Lee was "always polite" and played video games at the family's home

(CNN) -- The mother of a missing 12-year-old Louisiana girl who was found safe Wednesday said hearing the news was "like no other phone call I've gotten before in my life."

A 25-year-old acquaintance of the girl's family is now charged with rape, Shreveport police said.

A tipster contacted authorities around 1:30 a.m. and told police the girl was at a convenience store looking for a ride home, police said. The girl was found and returned to her family.

"It was the greatest feeling in the world," her mother said of embracing her for the first time Wednesday. "I never ever wanted to let her go."

CNN does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The girl's mother told HLN's "Prime News" Wednesday night that her daughter was recovering from her ordeal.

"She's kind of up and down," the mother said. "She doesn't want to be touched, she doesn't want to talk about the ordeal. It was horrific what happened to my child."

Two men were arrested earlier this week in connection with the girl's disappearance Sunday from a neighborhood swimming pool.

On Tuesday, the girl's mother said one of the two men spent time at their home, playing video games and hanging out with their family.

Henry Lee was "always very polite, very nice. We thought he was a very decent person," the mother told HLN. "We would have never ever expected that he would have done something like this."

The mother said Tuesday that Lee was an "associate" of one of her family's good friends.

Lee was arrested Monday on an aggravated kidnapping charge, according to Shreveport police. On Wednesday, the charge was revised to aggravated rape.

A second man, Brandon Player, 19, was also arrested in the case and is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.

The girl was last seen Sunday after she went to the pool. It started raining shortly after she left her house, her mother said.

"My husband realized it was raining, and he went down to get her and she was gone," she said.

Two witnesses told police they had seen her get into an Oldsmobile Cutlass, Shreveport police Sgt. Bill Goodin said. The witnesses gave authorities a license plate number, and police tracked the car to Player.

"Through interviews and other information gathering, that ultimately led us to Henry Lee," Goodin told "Prime News."

Many questions remain in the case, including what happened to the girl during the two-and-a-half days after Lee and Player were arrested. It is unclear where she was and who she may have been with during that time.

"Anyone who kept her from coming home or hid her, we're working to put them in jail," Goodin said.

CNN's Holly Yan contributed to this report.