Missing Teen Chloe Campbell Found! But What Happened?!

Yay! Finally, some good news in a missing persons case!

As quickly as the search for Chloe Campbell went national, the case was apparently solved. As we told you on Monday, over the weekend the Boulder Police Department put out a press release describing the 14-year-old and the circumstances of her disappearance. She was last seen at a high school football game on September 30 — after which her family never heard from her. The only thing they did get was a creepy message on Snapchat with a photo of the missing teen in which, as her father David Campbell described, she looked “injured and unwell.”

There were also apparently messages to friends that she was with a “family” in Arizona and did not wish to return home.

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Late Monday afternoon, the Boulder PD held a press conference in which they delivered the positive update. Police Chief Maris Herold told reporters the teen “was located at a residence” in nearby Thornton, Colorado — not in Arizona — that very afternoon.

“Police are working to have her medically evaluated, and her family has been contacted. Appropriate referrals will be made to social services resources.”

So what happened? Well, it does in fact look like Chloe disappeared of her own free will. As to why? That’s something police are still digging into, along with where she went and whom she was with. Chief Herold continued:

“While investigators continue to believe that Chloe ran away, there’s an ongoing investigation about where she was and what occurred while she was away from her family. Some details are being withheld at this time to allow for a thorough investigation.”

The Deputy Chief was next to speak, giving more context to the investigation. He explained that Chloe’s father had reported her missing way back on October 1 — so why was the first press release not until a week later on October 8? The PD has already been drawn criticism for taking so long to do so.

Deputy Chief Stephen Redfearn explained that a BOLO had been given to law enforcement officers, and a detective had been put on the case, and that they met with the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children and the FBI. They spoke to everyone who knows Chloe and followed lots of tips. But they never put out an Amber Alert — why?

Redfearn explained that they limit Amber Alerts to cases in which they believe a child has been abducted, and apparently they never thought so in this case — only that she had run away. He mentioned they “had indications that she was alive throughout the week” as well. They did plan, however, with the FBI to put out a Missing and Endangered Persons alert for her this week — only she was found first. He assured they followed all state guidelines — clearly the criticism had gotten to them!

Fielding questions from reporters, Redfearn said the department was “confident” through their investigation that Chloe was alive and “never throughout the week had any indication she was in harm’s way.” He also stated clearly:

“We have no belief at this time that she was held against her will”

What about the messages to the parents? Redfearn wouldn’t say whether that was her or not, only that police are aware there was someone “purporting to be” her.

Seems like there’s still a bit of a mystery to be solved… but it also sounds like a pretty happy ending to what could have been a much, much worse story.

[Image via Denver7/YouTube.]

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