A 12-year-old Florida girl stole her father’s car and picked up her 14-year-old friend to meet an online predator in Louisiana, officials said this weekend.

Baby-faced Jade Gregory, of Union County, was reported missing last week after she hopped behind the wheel of her parent’s Ford Taurus, went to meet her pal, Khloe Larson, then drove out of state.

The two kids had apparently been corresponding with an unknown person online and planned to meet him in Louisiana, according to reports.

Their sudden disappearance triggered a Missing Child Alert, and their youthful images were flashed across billboards and television screens across several Southern states.

Gregory drove her father’s truck all the way from the Gainesville area to Mobile, Alabama — a roughly five-hour trek.

Authorities said they were not accompanied by an adult during their journey and they had voluntarily left their homes.

The girls were later shocked to see their images on a television in an Alabama convenience store — and eventually decided to turn themselves into local police.

The FBI is involved in the shocking case and is investigating a person they believe the two girls were planning to meet.

The kids have been safely returned to their families in Florida, police said.

Law enforcement agencies have ramped up efforts to warn parents about the danger of online predators and urged diligent monitoring of their online activities.

Authorities are investigating if the runaways were lured by a possible child sex trafficker.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there were 19,000 reports of child sex trafficking across the nation in 2022.

Original Article