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Runaway girl safe at home

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Staff Writer
Investigators with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office have located a local teen-aged girl that was reported missing by her parents on Saturday, Nov. 17.
According to officials with the sheriff's office, a 17-year-old girl met a 17-year-old boy over the internet and began a friendly relationship that included chatting over the internet and calling each other on the phone.
The parents of the teen told deputies the girl had taken some clothing and other personal belongings when they discovered she was missing.
Upon filing a missing persons report with the sheriff's office, the case was turned over to Captain Chuck McMullen who is trained in tracking internet messages. With the help of dispatchers and the district attorney's office, McMullen located the Brewton teenager near Anniston, Ala.
According to McMullen, investigators with the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office were contacted and they began their own search for the girl.
The girl was taken to a local juvenile facility in Calhoun County. She was transported to Brewton on Wednesday, Nov. 21.
Escambia County Sheriff Tim Hawsey said the girl was fortunate that she was found and that her internet friend turned out to be legitimate.
Hawsey said this incident should remind parents to pay attention to their children's internet habits and who they are talking to on-line.
Hawsey said similar seminars could be arranged for churches, civic groups and other clubs. To arrange a seminar, contact Hawsey or McMullen at the sheriff's office.