Fort Worth

Missing North Texas teen found safe after leaving her neighborhood willingly, police say

A North Texas teen who was reported missing after she got into a car and didn’t return home Thursday evening has been found safe, authorities said Friday.

“Yes, we have found her and returned her safe and sound,” said David McClelland, a spokesman with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, in a Friday afternoon email.

McClelland said deputies located Olivia Matthews, 17, in Grand Prairie on Friday afternoon.

“After talking with the girl and reviewing all possible footage, it is clear to our detectives that she went with the parties willingly and left the location she was found at willingly,” McClelland said in a Friday news release. “We are all happy that she was found and returned safe and sound to her parents.”

Authorities had searched throughout the day for Olivia Matthews, whose parents found what seemed to be a threatening note after she was last seen getting into the car Thursday evening.

“We’re glad she is safe,” said her mother, Tanya Gee, in a telephone interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We appreciate the help we received from everyone.”

Olivia was picked up by two people in a car about 6:10 p.m. Thursday. She got into the gold passenger car at Beechcreek Drive and Hazelnook Road in Edgecliff Village, surveillance video showed.

Shortly after that, her parents received a possible threat, McClelland said in a news release. McClelland declined to comment on the threat, but he said it wasn’t a ransom demand.

The teen’s parents told authorities that Olivia had left behind a note that said, “I’m sorry, they said they’d hurt you if I didn’t go with them,” the Star-Telegram’s media partner WFAA-TV reported.

“She got into the car willingly, so we’re not calling it a kidnapping,” McClelland said in a Friday telephone interview before Olivia was found.

McClelland said Olivia’s family and friends viewed a home surveillance video which captured the teen getting in the car, and they did not recognize the vehicle.

The video was from a home a few houses down from the teen’s home, authorities said.

Throughout Friday, her parents had hoped for leads to her whereabouts.

Edgecliff Village is in south Tarrant County, about nine miles from Fort Worth.

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