Indianapolis News and HeadlinesPublic Safety


Southern Indiana girl reported missing is found in Florida; 2 adults under investigation

U.S. Marshals Service, multiple other police agencies involved in search
Posted at 10:34 AM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 10:34:54-04

SANTA CLAUS — A multi-state search for a 15-year-old girl reported missing has come to an end after law enforcement located her in Florida, police say.

The girl had been reported missing from Santa Claus in Spencer County July 21 and was found late Sunday in a Jacksonville, Fla. apartment, according to the Santa Claus Police Department.

Law enforcement agencies on the local, state and federal levels became involved in the search after police received information indicating she had left Indiana. The U.S. Marshals Service and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children assisted.

Santa Claus Police Chief James Faulkenburg told WRTV the apartment where police found the girl was also occupied by two other people: a man and a woman. Both those individuals are under investigation by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, a joint city-county law enforcement agency.

The girl was removed from the apartment "without incident" after Santa Claus police coordinated a law enforcement response at the building.

Faulkenburg credited assisting law enforcement agencies for their contributions to the search and investigations. He also thanked members of the public for providing tips to police.

"The Santa Claus Police Department encourages all parents, and guardians, to closely monitor their loved ones' internet activity on all social media platforms," Faulkenburg wrote in a statement. "Open dialogue with our kiddos on their online activity is essential to our efforts in keeping them safe."