UPDATE | Sheriff's office believes Jason Johnson gave teen methamphetamines

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Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Columbia County investigators have said Jason Johnson, a man accused of abducting an Evans teen, gave her methamphetamines.

The sheriff's office couldn't immediately say how the methamphetamines were given to Calah Waskow but he would allegedly supply them to her when they met.

Johnson was arrested in Sevierville, Tennessee on Saturday on charges including aggravated child molestation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, child molestation, and enticing a child for indecent purposes, according to an arrest warrant.

He will appear in court on Jan. 5, 2017 at 9 a.m. according to Sevier County courts.

Johnson is accused of taking Calah Waskow from her home on Dec. 4. An amber alert was sent out on Dec. 8 and the two were found on Saturday, Dec. 10 at a Russel Stover's candy store near Gatlinburg, Tenn.


Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A man accused of abducting an Evans teen has been transported back to Columbia County pending his 2017 court date.

Jason Johnson is will appear in court on Jan. 5, 2017 at 9 a.m. according to Sevier County courts. Johnson was arrested in Sevierville, TN on Saturday.

He was arrested on charges including aggravated child molestation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, child molestation, and enticing a child for indecent purposes, according to an arrest warrant.



Monday, Dec. 12, 2016

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A Knoxville man is speaking out after finding a missing Columbia County teen over the weekend.

John Fecco doesn't consider himself a hero, but he's the reason 15 year-old Calah Waskow is home. "I challenge anybody to come up with a person's name, a person of any type, that wouldn't have done what I did," Fecco says.

Fecco was on his way back home from Columbia, South Carolina, when he recognized a vehicle matching an Amber Alert he had seen on billboards while on the road.

"There was something about this I should know, I just couldn't put it together yet," he says.

He slowed down and let the vehicle, driven by 37 year old Jason Johnson, pass him. From there, Fecco was able to match the license plate numbers and immediately called 9-1-1.

Fecco says he didn't even think twice. "You got somebody in your sights-that you know is part of an Amber Alert, how could you not follow them and call 9-1-1?"

He followed them when the vehicle exited off the interstate. "Where ever it led, I was going to follow. I had no problem doing that."

Fecco stayed within sight of the vehicle at different gas stations, all while staying on the phone with law enforcement.

He says Johnson parked near a Russell Stover store and that's when authorities began to arrive. Fecco stuck around, just in case there was anything he could help with.

"I was kind of thinking to myself-well I'm going to stay here just in case this guy comes barreling around maybe I can help somehow. So I just stayed there."

Once the whole ordeal was over, he says a police officer walked over and thanked him. "I was kind of in shock-I asked probably two, maybe three times, 'This really was the guy?' 'This really was the car?' and he confirmed it."

Fecco says he's glad Calah is back home. "I have my own daughter and I could just imagine how they felt through this time so my thoughts and prayers are with them."

He just says he was at the right place, at the right time.


Monday, Dec. 12, 2016

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's been a hard couple of days for Nora and Rick Wascow..

"We have been up 24-7 pretty much," said Nora Wascow.

Decorating for the holidays not knowing if their daughter Calah would be in her own bed or there to open her stocking Christmas day.

"You stress so much and horrible thoughts go through your mind about whats happening to your child," said Wascow.

A phone call from a Tennessee deputy was an early Christmas gift.

"He said from the Tennessee sheriffs department and I just want to let you know I have your daughter standing right in front of me," said Wascow.

For the first time in days she heard her daughters voice.

"Then he put her on the phone and she sounded real drained tired. She said mama I just want to come home," said Wascow.

Mom and dad say they have a complete stranger to thank for seeing the amber alert and their daughter miles away from home.

"He actually followed them to the gas station and kept an eye on them and he didn't leave them until the police got there," said Rick Wascow.

"He's so awesome," said Nora Wascow.

15 year-old Calah and the 37 year old-man were picked up by Tennessee deputies.

One with a second chance...

"I think we'll just tell her how much we love her," said RIck Wascow.

The other facing multiple charges.

"The judge, Judge Flanagan says he's gonna look at Kayla as a victim she's a child and that he he's an adult so he knew better and she didn't," said Wascow.


Monday, Dec. 12, 2016

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A man accused of abducting a Columbia County teen has been arrested and booked into jail in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Tennessee police found Calah Waskow, 15, and 37-year-old Jason Johnson at a Russell Stover in a town called Sevierville, near Gatlinburg. Investigators say a man spotted the two then called dispatch on Saturday afternoon around 3:25 p.m.

Columbia County investigators aren't sure when Johnson will be brought here but an extradition hearing is expected this week in Tennessee.



Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016 UPDATE | 9:32 p.m.

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The family of Calah Waskow says a judge is making sure their daughter is going to be evaluated.

They say it's to make sure these experiences don't impact her future. They tell us a Columbia County investigator will bring her back here.

Waskow's parents also confirm Jason Johnson will have an extradition hearing next week in Tennessee.



UPDATE | 6:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- After missing for nearly a week, a Columbia County teen believed to be with a dangerous man has now been found.

Her parents got the call around 3:30 Saturday afternoon and say they're glad this week of highs and lows gets to end on a high.

"I was living a nightmare and I just woke up."

After almost a week of questions and hours of searches, one phone call is all it took to end Rick and Nora Waskow's week-long nightmare. Nora says she was at work when she got the news she'd been hoping and praying for.

"They said that they were with the Tennessee Sheriff's Department," Nora says. "[The man] said that he had my daughter standing right in front of him."

15-year-old Calah Waskow, missing since Monday morning, is finally safe and sound.

"She said 'Momma, I just want to come home," an emotional Nora says. "She said she saw us on the news and she said she was okay. She said she was alright."

Tennessee police found Calah and 37-year-old Jason Johnson at a Russell Stover in a town called Sevierville, near Gatlinburg. Investigators say a man spotted the two then called dispatch.

He followed them from gas station to gas station before they wound up at the candy store, where police caught them. Johnson is now behind bars and Calah is in the hospital to be checked out for any injuries.

"I just got so emotional, I just busted into tears," Nora says. "I mean, just to hear her voice and just such a relief, you know? A heavy burden lifted, you know?"

Family members are already stopping by with tears of joy. Calah's sister Madison got the call at work and rushed to share this moment with her parents.

"You really see how people are, you know," Rick says.T"here are so many people out there that care. So many people that were praying for us and were excited for us to get to where we are today."

And to everyone who helped spread the word of her daughter's disappearance, Nora has a message.

"I just want to say God bless you," Nora says. "Thank you so much and it's because of you that our daughter's home."

They say there are still many questions left to answer. But for now, this family's just glad she's coming home.

The family says Calah should be coming back home sometime on Sunday. They say because she is listed as a runaway, she will be brought to a youth detention center until a judge releases her to her parents.

Columbia County investigators aren't sure when Johnson will be brought here.

Stay with News 12 NBC 26 for more updates on this story.


Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 UPDATE| 5:01 p.m.

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The parents of Calah Waskow say they got the call from law enforcement in Tennessee around 4:00 Saturday afternoon.

They say Calah should be brought back home sometime tomorrow. The Waskow's say because she is labeled as a runaway, she will have to stay in a Youth Detention Center until a judge rules to release her into her parents custody.

Rick and Nora Waskow tell News 12 NBC 26 say Dr. Phil called them and offered to pay all of her medical expenses and would like to have Calah on the show.



Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 UPDATE| 4:34 p.m.

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Columbia County investigators say Calah Waskow and Jason Johnson were found in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Dispatchers got a call from a man who followed Waskow and Johnson from gas station to gas station. Sevierville Police ultimately caught up with them and arrested Johnson at a Russell Stover Candy Store.

Johnson is being taken into custody at the Sevierville Police Department. Calah Waskow was taken to the Emergency Room to be checked out.



Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 UPDATE| 4:08 p.m.

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The mother of Calah Waskow says her daughter has been found.

Nora Waskow says her 15-year-old daughter was found in Tennessee and Jason Johnson, 37, is now in custody.

Deputies say Johnson abducted Calah from her home in Evans, but her parents say it's not the first time the two had met.

Johnson is wanted by Columbia County investigators on child molestation charges.

Nora tells News 12 NBC 26 she was able to speak to her daughter on the phone Saturday afternoon and said she is alive and well, but felt tired. She tells us Calah said she just wants to come home.

Columbia County investigators say they are working to confirm the latest update in this case.

News 12 NBC 26 will update this developing story as we learn more information.



News 12 NBC 26 News At 6 O'Clock | Friday, Dec. 9, 2016

UPDATE| 6:00 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The whole state of Georgia is searching for 15-year-old Calah Waskow. So far there have been tips called in but there is still no sign of her or 37-year-old Jason Johnson. But her parents are still continuing the search for their little girl.

A father desperate to find his only daughter but doesn't know where to find her. That's what Rick Waskow is facing as he takes on the search himself for his little girl.

"I've been to North Augusta, Downtown Augusta, to the suburbs, Evans," Waskow says. "Looking and searching."

That's all this Columbia County father can do as he continues to look for his missing 15-year-old daughter. He says he's gotten little sleep since her disappearance Monday morning.

"[I'm] just antsy, I can't sit still, I can't wait. I've got to be active, I've got to do something. I want her home. We want her home."

Since she disappeared, Rick has been on the road hoping for any sign of his baby girl and the man who allegedly abducted her from her Evans home.

We rode along to see where his search has lead and the areas he's searching the most.

The first stop is Jason Johnson's last registered home at Breckenridge Apartments in North Augusta. Johnson was reported to have been staying there with his father, but we found no sign of him, Calah or the tan Crown Victoria in which he was last spotted.

Next, we went Downtown where the word of Calah's disappearance has already spread thanks to a digital billboard showing her Levi's Call. Deputies in Georgia already working several leads, including one today off Gordon Highway. But like other calls, there's been no luck.

"It's just so frustrating," Waskow says. "It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I'm looking at all these cars on the roads and in parking lots trying to find this one perfect match."

On the road, he talked about the first time Calah's mother, Nora, met Jason Johnson. He says he's still shocked the father of one of her friends would do this.

"[Calah] brought her friend with her after school one day and her friend brought her father," Waskow says. "[She] met him, trusted him. He seemed to be a sincere, honest individual. Let her go stay at their house. You don't know what's going to happen after that, I guess. You think you make the right choices, sometimes you don't."

At our last stop, the Wal-Mart in Evans where the two were spotted Monday, Rick got some help from two strangers who heard his story and prayed for his family and the safe return of his daughter.

He says as long as she's out there, he's not stopping until he brings his daughter home.

"We don't care if he drops her off at a gas station or shopping center," Waskow says. "We want her home safe. We miss her. Everybody is praying for her. We just want her home."

Authorities tell Waskow they're not certain if the two are still here in our area or have left the state.

Johnson's facing several big charges, including aggravated child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes. But as long as their child isn't home, Calah's parents say they won't sleep until their daughter is brought home safe.


Friday, Dec. 9, 2016

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Columbia County Investigators have said they're working multiple leads in the search for a 15-year-old girl believed to be with a man wanted on child molestation charges.

Around 1:30 p.m. Friday, News 12 NBC 26 heard crews following a lead for a suspicious vehicle that match the description of Jason Johnson's car, a tan Crown Victoria. Our photographer went out to Gordon Highway where the report was made and there wasn't anything going on.

Investigators also told Calah Waskow's father that they're working a lead in South Georgia but there's no video to support the claim. Another report about the two being spotted a Dollar Store in mid-Georgia was made but there's no video to prove it's them either.


Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 | UPDATE | 11:30 p.m.

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Two Columbia County parents make a plea for their daughter to return home safely. The Sheriff's Office issued a statewide alert in the search for 15-year-old Calah Noel Waskow and 37-year-old Jason Johnson, who's now wanted for child molestation.

"You see things like this on TV but you never think it'll happen to you."

Nora and Rick Waskow say they're living in a horrible dream ever since their 15-year-old daughter Calah Waskow went missing.

"It has just been a horrible nightmare. You don't sleep," Nora says. "I just keep thinking she's going to walk through that door, you know?"

She found her daughter's bedroom empty Monday morning and called the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Three days later deputies confirm she's on the run with 37-year-old Jason Johnson from North Augusta.

"I just really want him to bring my baby back home," Nora says. "I miss her so much and I'm really scared of what he could be doing to her right now."

Deputies say Johnson abducted her from her home in Evans, but her parents say it's not the first time the two had met.

"My daughter was friends with his daughter," Nora says. "That's how he I guess got introduced to my daughter."

They're wondering why it took so long to issue the Levi's Call, Georgia's version of an Amber Alert, days after her disappearance.

"We are asking the same thing because she went missing on Monday," Nora says. "I would've thought they would've put one out right then, you know, to try and find her."

She told deputies the window screen was taken out and there were no signs of a forced entry. Calah left her phone behind, taking only a jacket before she ran away.

Just days ago, deputies confirmed the two had been seeing each other for awhile. WSB in Atlanta is reporting Johnson is wanted by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office for child molestation, aggravated child molestation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

For now, the Waskow's just hope their only child will make it home safe.

"We just want to get this nightmare over with," Rick says. "Bring her home safe, bring her home today safe and sound. Don't hurt our baby."

Waskow's parents say their daughter snuck out once before when she wanted to see her friends, but something like this is not like her. They say they're getting lots of support from friends, families and even teachers at her daughter's school.

Anyone who sees her or knows where she might be are asked to contact their local authorities. We'll keep you updated with new details as this story develops.


Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are looking for a tan 1998 Ford Crown Victoria with South Carolina Tag KVJ240 believed to be connection to an abduction.

According to Columbia County Emergency Services, Calah Noel Waskow, a 15-year-old white female, 5’4” with blonde shoulder length hair was abducted by Jason Johnson, a 5’8”, 175 pounds, white male and was last seen at 556 Southern Hills, Evans, on Dec. 4.

Waskow is believed to be in extreme danger.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Calah Noel Waskow or the tan 1998 Ford Crown Victoria with South Carolina tag KVJ240 please dial 911.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, the mother reported her daughter was missing on Dec. 4 but they didn't send out the Levi's Call because they thought it may just be a runaway situation. It wasn't until this week that investigators learned of the relationship between Waskow and Johnson.

There are several layers that go into issuing a Levi's Call. Columbia County Major Steve Morris said they confirmed the two had been seeing each other and had to investigate his background to make sure there was a legitimate concern for her safety.

Investigators said they sent out the wanted information for Johnson on Wednesday when they got confirmation they had been seeing each other. They wanted to confirm after investigating to make sure they didn't send out this call without there being a legitimate concern.

What are the criteria for issuing AMBER alerts?