BARLING, Ark (KNWA/KFTA) — The Barling community came out to search for a 14-year-old girl who was reported missing Monday night.
The young girl has since been found, but it was a stressful 15 hours for everyone involved. According to Barling police, the 14-year-old was reported missing at 6:30 p.m. Monday. She was last seen at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The mother of the child said the girl’s phone had died. She put it on a charger before heading out the door for her babysitting job nearby. She never made it to the babysitting job. After hours of searching, she arrived at home 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
When the 14-year-old girl returned home, she was accompanied by a man. He lived in the neighborhood and said he saw her walking down the street and took her home. Police interviewed the suspect, and he was released. Barling police don’t think he’s involved in any way at this time.
Colleen Nick is the CEO of the Morgan Nick Foundation. She was giving counsel to the family and helping law enforcement as they waited for the 14-year-old’s return. She said the first few hours are crucial and around 75 community members volunteered to help.
“I am not shocked. We have seen over and over again that our communities really step up when there is a child at risk,” said Nick.
Nick said she’s always happy to see a child return home to family and friends.
“It’s just such an uplifting experience for us and for everyone who works on that case. That’s not always what we see,” said Nick.