The teen girl who was reported missing Monday in Greenwood was found safe in Florida by Wednesday night, according to officials
The 14-year-old was found at about 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, and Greenwood County Sheriff Dennis Kelly said she was found safe with family in Florida. He said officers weren't sure at about 10:20 p.m. how she got there, but were working to find out the finer details.
Kelly said officers never had any evidence to suggest there was foul play involved or that the girl was put in harm's way.
The girl had last been seen Monday night at a Fenwick Court residence in the Cobblestone West neighborhood. On Wednesday, Greenwood County deputies and city police gathered at nearby Lakeview Elementary School to search the surrounding area. Officers in patrol vehicles drove through the streets of nearby neighborhoods, while the Greenwood County Bloodhound Tracking Team was brought out to help aid in a search.
In addition to bloodhounds and officers, Sgt. Jeff Graham with the sheriff's office said police used a drone to search the area from overhead and said there were plans to have officers searching from a helicopter soon if the teen wasn't found.
Several agencies and groups are helped with the search, Graham said, including the FBI, Foothills K9, the state Department of Natural Resources, Greenwood EMS and Greenwood County Fire Service. Officers worked through the night, handing out flyers and speaking with people across swathes of Greenwood. Graham said officers handed out nearly 1,000 flyers Wednesday.
FBI agents were questioning residents in the nearby Cobblestone West neighborhood, according to Greg Deal, who lives in the area. Deal is an employee of the Index-Journal.
At about 3:30 p.m., Deal said he got a knock on his door and a Greenwood County deputy and FBI agent asked to speak with him. The agent was carrying a number of forms, and spent about half an hour talking to Deal, getting his personal information and asking him questions about how he spent his Monday — the day the girl was last seen.
“He wanted to know if I knew her, and if I ever conversed with her,” Deal said.
Deal told the officers he didn’t know her. He was asked if he’d be willing to give a DNA sample, and while he agreed, no sample was taken. Deal said the agent asked that question of others in the neighborhood as well.
The officers asked Deal if he had a security camera, and asked him and his family if they had experienced any strange sights or sounds recently. They asked to search his house and crawl space, and Deal said after giving them permission, they thoroughly searched under his house.
Deal described the experience as unnerving. The officers also questioned his wife and teen son, and he noticed deputies searching nearby woods with the help of the bloodhounds. Officers showed Deal a picture of the teen, which he said he had already seen on social media.