Maries County and LANEG Task Force investigators determined the leads were credible, and the juvenile had been spotted in St Robert, Missouri on January 24.

A missing juvenile from the state of Texas listed with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has been taken into protective custody in mid-Missouri, nearly 600 miles from home.

According to a press release from the Maries County Sheriff’s Office, they were contacted January 24 by a special investigator with Texas Child Protective Service. The investigator requested assistance investigating a missing juvenile who had possible ties to Maries County.

After receiving information from Texas CPS and the Hill County Sheriff's Office in Hillsboro, Texas, Maries County deputies and members of the Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group (LANEG) Task Force spent several hours investigating leads. They determined the leads were credible, and the juvenile had been spotted in St Robert, Missouri earlier that day.

Contact was made with a residence in Maries County who confirmed they had seen the juvenile and had a mutual contact who could make contact with her. With their assistance the juvenile was located and convinced to contact the Maries County Sheriff's Office to turn herself in, the press release states. The juvenile was taken into protective custody by Maries County deputies and held at their office in Vienna, Missouri until the Childrens’ Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services and juvenile authorities could take custody.

According to the press release, the juvenile is being returned to Texas by the proper authorities where she will hopefully be reunited with her proper guardian. 

The sheriff’s office expressed special thanks to those who assisted with locating this juvenile and helping her return to safety.

The names of all involved are not being released for privacy reasons. The juvenile was not being held against her will, according to the press release. 

“This is a great time to remember we should always be vigilant in noticing the little things around us. You never know when you will encounter someone who is in need of your help,” the press release concluded.

For more information about the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children go to their website at http://betamk.missingkids.org/home.