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Missing teen found
Wells, 17, located after two-week search
Haliey Wells.jpg
Haliey Wells

Haliey Wells, 17, has been found after a two-week disappearance. 

She was reported missing on March 15 and was said to have left her home between 1 and 2 a.m. sometime after texting a family member late on Thursday, March 14 to say she was going to stay with a friend. In the message, she brought up the difficulties she was having dealing with her father’s death. Her mother, Angela Sanders, says she received a text saying she needed time to herself to think and that she “just couldn’t get over” the loss. When she left she was with a friend, but was not responding to texts or social media messages and authorities believed the phone was off or the battery was dead.

On Wednesday, March 29, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department reported that Wells was found safe. Wednesday night, Chelsea Evelynn, a relative, shared a post on Facebook announcing Wells’ recovery and thanking everyone who offered help while asking for privacy.

“We are pleased to finally be able to share news with everyone that Haliey has been found and is now safe. We want to deeply and sincerely thank every person whose efforts went into getting her home, from persistently sharing on social media to printing flyers for us to distribute and everything in between. It has been a long and exhaustive 14 days, and we are asking everyone to please respect our family’s privacy in this crucial time of healing. Thank you so much, everyone. We are going to take a much-needed moment to rest and regroup. Haliey is safe.”

In addition to the radio silence through phone, text and social media, the fact that none of Wells’ friends had any idea where she could be led the family into a state of panic according to her cousin Chelsea Sheppard. This was compounded by the fact that Wells hadn’t left with clothes packed prepared for a trip. 

 In the intervening days, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department began knocking on doors and conducting interviews. Lead investigator Calvin Hammond says they examined every lead that came in. During the two weeks without contact, desperate loved ones posted on social media to help “spread awareness to ease the panic and pain we are feeling right now,” family member, Evelynn shared earlier this week. Wells didn’t qualify for an Amber Alert due to the fact it was unknown whether she was specifically taken or had left on her own.

The details of her recovery are currently unknown. The Southern Standard reached out to Sheriff Jackie Matheny Jr. asking for a comment and was told, “It’s still under investigation. I will release a statement at a later date.”