A missing teen returned home roughly 24 hours after first leaving, but authorities are now investigating who she met and what happened in those missing hours.
Emily Miller, 14, was last seen by her family around 8 p.m. Saturday. Around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, family members reported hearing the neighbor's dogs barking, and believed that was when Emily left. She was discovered to be missing when a family member who works third shift came home and went into her room to check on her.
Miller's mother, Jan, believes that her daughter left after asking a man on an Internet dating site to come pick her up. According to Newton County Sheriff's Lt. Tyrone Oliver, investigators believe that she spent time with the man in either an apartment or hotel room before returning home early Monday morning by taxi.
"She's lucky to be home safe, especially after leaving with a stranger," said Oliver.
"I'm overwhelmed at the kindness of people," said Jan. "I could never gotten through those 24 hours of my child missing without that support. It's been a reminder to me that prayers really do work. I really didn't think that I would get to hold my baby again. I feel like God will take this awful experience and will use it for good.
Maybe it will save at least one child that might learn from it. Words cannot express the relief and gratitude that my family and I feel. I'm not sure that I've ever experienced the way that everyone came together as a community as I have the last couple of days. It's really restored my faith in people, and I don't think I will ever be the same. So, thank you so much!"
Emily gave investigators the screen name and a vague description of the man she was with; however, it may be months until investigators are able to track him down since Emily is home now. According to Oliver, subpoenas have to be issued for the internet providers, and because Emily is not in immediate danger, it may take a while for them to comply since requests for information come so frequently.