Missing Stockbridge girl found safe and sound

8:30 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- It was a happy reunion late Friday afternoon for a Stockbridge family after their teenage daughter went missing.

While there were no signs of foul play, 16-year old Julia Palmer has a form of Asperger's and her family feared she might have gone to close to the swollen creek behind their house on Springvalley Circle.

Asperger's is often associated with repetitive behavior and intense interests. For Palmer, police say, it's nature.

In September, Palmer disappeared for four hours before search crews found her by the creek behind their house.  Her family thought they'd come up with a solution.

"She keeps a gps tracking device on her wrist and she removed it. And we've located it in the house so we know she took it off herself," said Smith.

Friday morning, you could hear the hum of a helicopter throughout the day as officers from Clayton and Fayette joined Henry county in the search for Palmer. There were K-9 units, a water rescue team from DNR, firefighters and medics on standby.

"We're also going house to house through the neighborhood doing a canvas to try to let the residents know what's going on," said Sgt. Joey Smith with the Henry County Police Department.

Nearly 12 hours after the search began, officers in Clayton county called to say they'd found her.  She wasn't by the water, but on the road, walking unharmed about seven miles away from her house.

She had no immediate explanation for what happened, but search teams didn't care.

"This is a positive, successful conclusion to a long day. So we're very happy," said Smith.

Palmer was taken to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution.

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