Juvenile missing more than a year found in Maryland, returned to Jackson Co.

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A female juvenile missing from Jackson County since December of 2011 had been located in Maryland, according to Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum.

The juvenile, who was at one time thought to have been abducted while shopping with her mother at Tanger Outlets in Commerce, was found in Baltimore and had been safely returned home. The Lawrenceville juvenile, who was 14 when she was reported missing, was returned to the custody of family members after being interviewed.

“The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, working closely with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Baltimore Police Department in Maryland, located the juvenile after a sighting was reported, information was obtained and evidence was developed through investigative means,” said Mangum, in a statement released Thursday.

Further investigation is continuing in Georgia and there is an ongoing investigation in Baltimore.

Mangum thanked the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Baltimore Police Department for their assistance and efforts that provided the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division with the information necessary to bring their investigation to a successful conclusion.

“The hard work of law enforcement agencies and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to the safe return of this child to a family who had exhausted all hope of their child ever being located and the child being safely returned to them,” said Mangum.

This investigation, like many, depended on the assistance of concerned citizens stepping forward and getting involved to help make their community safer and making sure that a child was not in jeopardy, said the Sheriff.

Citizens are encouraged to notify their local law enforcement agencies of any suspicious persons, crimes or other relevant information by calling 911 or the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at 706-367-8718.