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SPD officers find UK teen reported missing from Fla.

August 22, 2012


A British girl who was reported missing Sunday was found Tuesday in Starkville.

Amy Turner, 16, was vacationing with her parents in Orlando, Fla. when she allegedly ran away with 21-year-old Zachary A. Miller, of 516 Spruce Lane in Starkville.

Starkville Police Department Lt. Troy Outlaw confirmed Miller is a student at Mississippi State University and is a long-time Starkville resident.

Miller is being held at Oktibbeha County Jail without bond on two felony charges from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, including removing a minor from the state and interfering with child custody.
Turner was found unhurt by Starkville Police Department officers at Miller’s address. According to SPD Chief David Lindley, the two surrendered peacefully. Turner was transported to Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center in Greenwood and held there overnight before being reunited with her parents.

Authorities in Polk County reported Turner had been last seen Saturday in Davenport, Fla. After issuing a missing child alert, Outlaw said, the authorities were able to obtain information from Turner’s laptop computer to trace her to Starkville. He said the two had met through a social networking website.

“She had wiped the laptop but (Polk County authorities) were able to restore (the information). They were able to get the young man’s name and information off laptop and make contact with our police department here,” Outlaw said. “They went to the residence and that’s where she was.”

Lindley said the two had been corresponding for several months.
“She was with her parents who had decided to visit Disney World. While they were in the Orlando area, she had made arrangements with the young man in Starkville to come pick her up. This apparently had been planned for a while,” Lindley said. “(Polk County) authorities put in quite an effort to determine if she was a runaway or a victim of foul play.”

Miller is awaiting extradition proceedings so he can be turned over to Polk County authorities. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the dependency of a minor.

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