Society

Missing Teen Turns Up Five Years Later In Another State

| by Denise Recalde

A North Carolina teenager who vanished more than five years ago has been found safe, living in Ohio with a new life and identity. 

Rachel Natacha Owens, who disappeared at the age of 15 on May 5, 2011, was found living in Columbus, Ohio, by police on Dec. 9, the Daily Mail reports. 

Owens, now 21, had gone to "great lengths to intentionally conceal her whereabouts" and had "left and remained away on her own will," police said.

The young woman had been using a false identity and date of birth in Ohio, Brunswick County Sheriff's Office said in a press release. 

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Owens had last been seen getting off her school bus at South Brunswick High School in Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina, and into a vehicle in the parking lot that soon left the scene, StarNews Online reports. 

The young woman had a history of running away for brief periods of time before but never for so long. 

Both the FBI and Brunswick County Sheriff's Office pursued leads in the United States and Mexico to find Owens, FBI Special Agent Rich Novelli said. 

A representative for the FBI Charlotte Field Office said the FBI received tips that Owens was in the Ohio area as recently as 2014. 

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The FBI focused a part of its investigation on a lead featuring a story Owens wrote before she disappeared in which she expressed a wish to travel to Mexico. Her friends also reportedly stated that they had heard Owens was in Mexico.

The FBI had been offering a $5,000 reward for information regarding Owens' whereabouts. 

Officials said no charges will be levied in the case as no foul play was detected in Owens' disappearance. 

Novelli stated Owens' family was informed on Dec. 9 of Owens reappearance and that they can now "move on with rebuilding their relationship."

The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office thanked all law enforcement agencies that assisted in the investigation and all individuals who had tipped off the police as to Owens' whereabouts. 

"Sheriff [John] Ingram and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office are extremely grateful to all of those who submitted tips and leads to detectives that ultimately led to finding Rachel," the press release said.

Sources: Daily Mail, StarNews Online / Photo credit: WGHP

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