A North Carolina teen who disappeared in 2011 has been found alive and well, but the reason for her disappearance surprised both police and her family.
Rachel Natacha Owens was last seen by her family on May 5, 2011, when she mysteriously disappeared. She was just 15 years old at the time.
According to the New York Daily News, footage obtained by police revealed that Owens had gotten off her bus from South Brunswick High School in Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina, and into an unidentified vehicle. That was the last time anybody in the small town had seen Rachel.
The FBI released a missing persons report for Owens, offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the teen being found.
Now 21 years old, Owens has been found living in Columbus, Ohio, using a false name and date of birth, according to Fox 8. Police say that Owens made the decision to leave her hometown on her own.
“There is no foul play in Rachel’s disappearance and no charges will be pursued at this time,” a statement from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office reads. “Investigative efforts revealed that Rachel left and remained away on her own will. Investigators have learned that she went to great lengths to intentionally conceal her whereabouts, even assuming a false identity and date of birth.”
Owens’ parents, Kenneth and Kathy Owens, have not spoken publicly since their daughter was found, but Sgt. Candi West of the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office spoke on their behalf.
“If Rachel sees this or someone that is associated with Rachel sees this — her family just wants to know that she’s okay, her family just wants her to know that they miss her and they love her,” West said.
Owens has reportedly not been in contact with any family members since her 2011 disappearance.
Sources: NY Daily News, Fox 8 / Photo Credit: Fox 8