By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A missing 13-year-old girl who reportedly ran away from her grandmother’s home in Apache Junction was located in Safford on Thursday, Aug. 2.
According to a Safford Police report, at about 12:51 p.m., an officer received information that the grandmother believed the girl to be in Safford. She advised that the youth’s cell phone had been tracked to a local address, where relatives of a friend of the missing girl lived.
The officer went to the address on 5th Avenue and spoke with the homeowner, who said she didn’t know anything about the missing juvenile. However, the homeowner’s grandsons were questioned and they produced a white Samsung phone, which they said was found on a couch but didn’t know where it came from.
The homeowner then admitted the missing girl had been there yesterday and that she had been staying at the homeowner’s daughter’s residence. The homeowner declined to allow the officer to search her residence but said she would call the police if the missing girl came back.
Later that same day, the homeowner called and said the missing girl was in her backyard. Officers then responded to the residence and took custody of the juvenile.
However, when the grandmother in Apache Junction was contacted, she advised that the girl was always running away and she refused to take back the child.
The Department of Children Services (DCS) was then contacted and a representative from Mesa advised she would take custody of the girl and asked if officers could meet her somewhere halfway. The girl was then transferred to the custody of Graham County Juvenile Probation, which agreed to transport her to the juvenile detention center in Florence. The DCS worker advised she would pick up the child in Florence.