The Highland County Sheriff's Department reports Madison Bell of Greenfield, who has been missing since last Sunday, has been found safe. The Highland County Sheriff’s office Facebook page says “18-year-old Madison Bell has been located and is safe”.
In an interview with Cincinnati's Fox 19 NOW, Sheriff Donald Barerra says that they’re glad that Madison “Maddie” Bell is safe and unharmed. The sheriff says Bell did not turn herself in but was located by law enforcement and was not found locally.
The sheriff says Bell is not considered a runaway because she is not a minor, but she did leave of her own free will, saying she “left to start a new life”.
The sheriff says Bell confirmed she was with “the person of interest” but didn't say if that person was the man police released a picture of on Thursday.
The sheriff says he has consulted with the Highland County prosecutor and and says nothing can be done regarding the resources used to look for Madison Bell, because she’s an adult who left of her own free will.
Following the announcement that Madison Bell had been located, her family released the following letter to the community:
"We ask that the public and media respect our privacy during this difficult time while we are emotionally raw. We are just relieved to know Maddie is alive and not in physical danger.
"Thank you to every single person who looked for Maddie including Rescue 101 Search and Rescue, Texas Equusearch, the amazing members of our local community, and volunteers that came from other areas to search for our daughter.
"Thank you to everyone who donated on Maddie’s behalf to assure we had reward money to offer for her safe return. Thank you to the law enforcement agencies and members for their hard work over the past 6 days, and for leaving no rock unturned.
“Thanks to friends and family who have supported us during the most difficult time of our lives. Every single effort to find Maddie has touched us and we appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts.”
The Highland County Sheriff's Facebook post about 6:30am Saturday, was brief, until further information continued to come in throughout the morning.