Searchers find missing Bend teen

Mentally challenged girl failed to return home from school

BEND, Ore. - Bend police spent close to three hours searching late Thursday before finding a 14-year-old girl who is mentally challenged and failed to return to her northeast Bend home after school.

Shannia, whose last name was withheld, was found at a friend's home about 8:15 p.m., said Lt. Ken Mannix.

Police were dispatched around 5:20 p.m. to investigate the teen's disappearance. Sgt. John Lawrence said her "reported medical history prompted an immediate and aggressive search for the girl," last seen at Pilot Butte Middle School around 2:50 p.m.

She lives in the area of 15th and Wilson Avenue, and requires daily medication, said Det. Tommy Russell.

Bend police officers, detectives and community service officers began an intensive search for the girl, checking dozens of locations from schools to parks, shopping center, neighborhoods and homes, Lawrence said.

Shortly after 7 p.m., Deschutes County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Teams were requested and fanned out to assist in the search.

Around 7:50 p.m., Lawrence said a community service officer received "pertinent information in regards to a possible friend of the missing." That soon led officers to a friend's home, where the girl was found around 8:20 p.m.

She was unhurt, Lawrence said, but was taken to St. Charles Bend for an evaluation.

Family members said the disappearance was out of character, according to Mannix.

"We have to treat each of this situations as significant until we confirm it's otherwise, and in this case it was nothing" wrong, Mannix said.

Lawrence said Bend police offered thanks to sheriff's deputies and SAR volunteers "for their dedication, support and quick response,"

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