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Posted: March 4, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Three teens reported missing are safe

Three teen’s whose family’s reported them missing the last two weeks of February have been found safe.

According to officials with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, fifteen-year-olds Destiny Davis, Semetric Caldwell and Amani McNeal have all returned to Newton County after being missing for days at a time.

McNeal and Caldwell returned to Newton County Monday and Caldwell turned herself in to the Newton County Juvenile Court, according to NCSO officials. Davis turned herself in to Newton County Juvenile Court around noon Tuesday.

NCSO Sgt. Cortney Morrison said juvenile court officials are interviewing the girls and will decide what course of action to take moving forward. She said, "None of the girls are being very forthcoming about where they were, and what they were doing."

According to information from the sheriff’s office, Caldwell and Davis ran away together and did not return home from school Thursday, Feb. 27. McNeal went missing Sunday, Feb. 16, when she left home without permission, officials said.

Morrison said McNeal and Caldwell said they decided to return Monday after seeing their pictures and information in media reports. Morrison said the Sheriff’s Office thanks everyone who spread the word about the missing teens. "One of the girls said every time she turned around she saw her picture. She said she couldn’t run from that," Morrison said Monday afternoon.

No criminal charges have been filed against the girls, though running away can be a status offense - an offense that is not a crime and would not be illegal if the person was an adult - Morrison said. Juvenile court’s purpose is to rehabilitate youth, not punish them, Morrison said, and the court has multiple programs to accomplish that goal. However, youth can be ordered to do community service as part of rehabilitation.

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