Missing girls found safe

Published 9:55 am Friday, December 4, 2009

BURLINGTON — Two missing 10-year-old girls were found safe near the Burlington Elementary School where they apparently ran off Thursday afternoon.

The girls had been missing for about two hours when they were found in a field behind the school around 7:20 p.m.

They were reunited with their parents and “unharmed and in good spirits,” according to Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless.

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Their disappearance prompted an extensive search by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and several county volunteer fire departments.

About 100 joined in the search, according to Lawless.

So far the reason the girls gave to authorities for their actions was “They were just goofing off,” Lawless said.

Around 4:30 p.m. the two went out a back door of the school, across the parking lot and into a field, according to Sheriff Jeff Lawless.

Their actions were recorded on a surveillance video.

The sheriff’s office arrived at the school around 5:15 p.m. when the search began.

There will be a further investigation into the incident and children services will be notified, Lawless said.

Also the sheriff will forward a report of the investigation to the county prosecutor for his review.