Updated: Missing Arizona teen turns herself in to Douglas County sheriff

Updated 1:20 a.m. on Saturday

TUSCOLA — An Arizona teen for whom local authorities had been searching since Thursday turned herself in to the Douglas County Sheriff's Department on Friday evening.

Authorities said Michaela Jane Scott arrived at the sheriff's office, safe and unhurt, around 9:20 p.m. on Friday. Local officials had been searching for her since they found her parents' car parked on a rural road near Tuscola Thursday afternoon.

Scott admitted to leaving her home in Gilbert, Ariz., on Wednesday. She drove to Tuscola by herself, arriving on Thursday around 3:45 p.m., according to the sheriff's office.

Scott told authorities she parked her parents' car at 1075 N and 1100 E near Tuscola. She left the keys in the car while she walked into Tuscola.

Scott entered a local gas station and used a telephone to contact friends, according to the sheriff's office. For the next 28 hours, she stayed with friends in both Tuscola and Champaign before returning to Tuscola to turn herself in to authorities.

Her appearance at the sheriff's office came after someone claiming to be Scott called a Crimestoppers number on Friday afternoon and said she would not return to Arizona.

The Douglas County sheriff’s office said Douglas County Crimestoppers received a call at 3:20 p.m. Friday. The caller said she was safe and "had no intention of returning to Arizona," the sheriff's office said. 

At the time, the sheriff's office said it was continuing its search and would do so until making face-to-face contact with the teen.

On Wednesday, Michaela Jane Scott left her home in Gilbert, Ariz., in her parents’ car, a silver colored 2010 Scion bearing Arizona license plate AZA6431.

About 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the car was found parked on a rural road, surrounded by farm fields, at 1075 N and 1100 E  near Tuscola. The key was in the ignition and the motor was running. Scott was not seen in the car nor in the surrounding area.

Scott previously attended school in Tuscola. Police have talked to her friends, who had ideas where she might be

Douglas County Chief Deputy Pete Buckley said Scott had argued with her parents over a boyfriend in Tuscola. He and his family cooperated in the search for her, he said.

Buckley said he found a receipt for a McDonald’s in Joplin, Mo., that had a time on it that suggested the earliest she could have arrived in Douglas County would have been about 3 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Douglas County sheriff’s deputies, Tuscola police and a canine officer from the Arcola police joined in the search that stretched into the early morning hours of Friday.

Sections (2):News, Local
Tags (1):missing girl

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Some_Guy wrote on January 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

Toyota Scion-what?  Toyota makes Scion, but it's a brand, not a model of Toyota.  So is it a Toyota or is it a Scion and what's the model? 

rsp wrote on January 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

They have the car. They are looking for the girl. 

Some_Guy wrote on January 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

So you are right.  You know, I'd love to chalk that up to a blonde or senior moment but I am neither blonde nor senior.  I'll just cut my losses here and just say "WHOOPS"!  :)

Seriously though, I do hope she is found safe. 

rsp wrote on January 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

I think they put in so much car info in case someone saw her in it somewhere, maybe with someone else. Maybe someone else was driving the car, maybe the car is on someone's security tape. Of course, when they do that you start to think they are still looking for the car.