LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – Someone driving down Interstate Highway 75 in Laurel County saw a young girl giving a hand signal and called 911.

The social media platform TikTok is being credited with saving her life. The girl was reported missing from her North Carolina home on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

The teenager told Laurel County investigators she had traveled with James Herbert Brick, 61, of Cherokee, North Carolina, through North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio where Brick had relatives.

After Brick’s family realized she was underage and reported missing, he took her south. That is when she began trying to get drivers’ attention.

The hand signs she used to get drivers’ attention she learned from a TikTok trend where the person seeking help makes hand signals to quietly alert others they are experiencing abuse and feel unsafe.

Laurel County police have arrested Brick after finding the missing North Carolina teen in his car.

The hand signal

The hand signal comes from the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

First, starting with a flat palm facing the viewer and fingers facing the sky, then pulling the thumb into the palm, the last phase is to make a fist with the thumb wrapped in the other fingers.


#covid19 is making it difficult for people at risk of violence to safely reach out. Learn more: #fyp#signalforhelp

♬ original sound – Canadian Women’s Foundation