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Lifesaver Missing girl rescued after showing TikTok distress signal to driver

The gesture — a fist folded over the thumb tucked in front of the palm — “represents violence at home – I need help – domestic violence.”

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 (Peter Byrne/PA)

(Peter Byrne/PA)

(Peter Byrne/PA)

A teenage girl was rescued from an alleged kidnapping after catching a driver’s attention by using a distress signal popularised on TikTok.

The 16-year-old, from North Carolina, was in a silver Toyota Camry that had stopped at traffic lights on Interstate 75 in southern Kentucky on Thursday afternoon when she signalled to another driver that she was in danger, Fox 8 News reported.

According to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, the gesture — a fist folded over the thumb tucked in front of the palm — “represents violence at home – I need help – domestic violence.”

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The domestic violence signal popularised on TikTok (Credit: Halton Police/Twitter)

The domestic violence signal popularised on TikTok (Credit: Halton Police/Twitter)

The domestic violence signal popularised on TikTok (Credit: Halton Police/Twitter)

The hand signal gained popularity on TikTok during lockdown last year as a way for people to indicate that they were in unsafe environments at home.

After recognising the girl’s signal, the driver called 911 and followed the Camry, providing authorities with updates on its location.

The alert led to the arrest of 61-year-old James Herbert Brick from Cherokee, North Carolina.

He was taken to the Laurel County Correctional Center and charged with unlawful imprisonment and possession of matter showing sex performances by a minor after police found a photo of a young girl portrayed in a sexual manner on his phone.

The teenage girl had been reported missing by her parents on Tuesday morning, Laurel County Sheriff John Root said in a statement.

She also told authorities she had travelled with Brick through North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, according to the statement.

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