Missing Teens Found At Cell Phone Store


The two remaining teens missing from a Lake City behavioral center were found at a local AT&T store Monday.

Three teens went missing around 10 p.m. Saturday from Meridian Behavior Recovery Center, 439 SW Michigan St., in Lake City. Of the three, two returned Sunday afternoon.

About two hours later, the third teen came back to the facility only to leave again with a fourth teen around 10 p.m., according to public information officer Craig Strickland of the Lake City Police Department.

“He decided that he wanted to get somebody else to hang out with, went back, got another friend and they took off again,” he said.

The two teens found at the AT&T Store had hopes of leaving Lake City and were trying to get in contact with someone, according to Strickland.

“I believe they were trying to use a phone, borrow a phone, buy a phone,” he said. “Somehow they were trying to get a ride out of Lake City.”

The two found at the store have been turned over to law enforcement, according to Strickland.

“Ninety-five percent of the kids that are in this facility are there because of some type of emotional distress. Sometimes substance abuse is a lot of reasons that they would be there seeking help,” Strickland said.

He continued by saying that Meridian is not a lockdown facility and that the four teens do not pose any threat to the general public.

If the teens will not comply with the rules and regulations of the facility, the ones who  were not court-ordered there will probably be turned over to their families or guardians, according to Strickland.

About Scott St. Lifer

Scott is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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