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Missing teen found safe this morning in Stafford County

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By KEITH EPPS

A missing 17-year-old girl was found safe Wednesday morning following an all-night search in the Hartwood area of Stafford County, police said.

A jogger in Curtis Park heard the teen yelling for help in the woods about 6:30 a.m. and notified deputies. The girl was checked out and returned to her parents, ending an intense search that had begun Tuesday evening.

Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy said deputies went to a home on Tracey Lane in Hartwood about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in response to a report about a teen with “diminished intellectual capabilities.” The girl had run away from her home into the woods, police said.

Concerned about the girl’s safety, deputies and the county’s Volunteer Search & Rescue Team began an immediate search that later included a Virginia State Police helicopter and multiple dogs.

The search was fruitless until the jogger heard the missing teen in thick brush about three-quarters of a mile from her home. She was in good condition.

Sheriff Charles Jett issued a statement thanking the jogger and everyone else involved in the search, saying “their willingness to help those in need, sometimes under very adverse conditions, is noted and appreciated.”

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