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Girl missing for over a year found in closet of Michigan home

Child Protective Services took her to a hospital, where it was discovered that she was pregnant.
Credit: Branson Sparks

PORT HURON, Mich. — A 14-year-old girl who was reported missing over a year ago by her foster family has been found hiding in the closet of a Michigan home, authorities said.

A U.S. Marshals fugitive team found the girl Tuesday in Port Huron, about 62 miles northeast of Detroit. Child Protective Services took her to a hospital, where it was discovered that she was pregnant.

"She was crying," Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Watson told the Detroit Free Press. "She didn't know where she was going to go. She was pretty terrified. And she was afraid of losing her baby."

Authorities are pursuing parental kidnapping charges against the girl's biological mother, who previously lost custody of her daughter, Watson said.

The mother is believed to have found the girl after she ran away and started moving the girl from house to house, authorities said. The girl has been reunited with her biological father.

"She was ecstatic about that," Watson told the Detroit Free Press. "She was afraid that if she was found, she would go back in the system. ... She was just, 'I wanna be with my dad. I wanna be with my dad.'"

State police contacted Watson on Tuesday seeking help in locating the girl. Tips led authorities to the home.

"The occupants refused us entry, wouldn't talk to us or give us any information," he told The Detroit News. "We ended up having to serve a search warrant to get inside."

Watson, however, told the newspaper the house did not appear to be the site of a human trafficking operation.

Of the nearly 30,000 children reported missing to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in 2020, 91% were children who ran away. According to the center, 77% of reported runaways are between 15 and 17 years old.

The girl's discovery in Michigan comes just days after two abducted children who had been missing from Missouri for almost a year were found in a Florida grocery store with their non-custodial mother.

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