By Joe Johnson
After disappearing four months ago, an Oconee County teen
on Tuesday walked into a store in another state and asked for help, according to a post on the Facebook page of Julia Mann’s mother, Terrie Clarke of Watkinsville.
"Our prayers have been answered and our precious Julia is safe,” the Tuesday evening post stated. “She showed up at a grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky this morning and asked an officer to call her mom and dad.”
Mann was reported missing February 21, and during an extensive search that involved the OCSO, GBI and FBI, Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said that by all indications, the 17-year-old had left her home in the Rowan Oak subdivision on her own free will.
She had moved to her new home a few weeks earlier from Dunwoody.
Mann was last seen by her grandfather at around 10 p.m. Feb. 20 but by the next morning she was gone and a missing person report was filed with the sheriff’s office.
Also missing from Mann’s home were the teen’s cellphone and laptop computer, neither of which had been used since she disappeared, authorities said.
Berry said that prior to family members traveling to Kentucky to pick up Mann, he identified Mann through a photograph provided by Kentucky officials and he also spoke with the teen by phone.
There had been widespread concern about Mann’s safety and Facebook pages dedicated to locating the teen had been established.
“We want to thank everyone who cared about Julia and shared her story. We appreciate the hard work of all the law enforcement agencies involved,” stated the post on Terrie Clark’s Facebook page. “We are so grateful to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, The National Child Protection Task Force, The Morgan Nick Foundation, and the media. Thank you all for your overwhelming support over these last several months. We kindly ask that our family be given the privacy we need at this time.”