CIBOLO, Texas - A teenager who was missing for nearly a week is back home safely, but the investigation into her disappearance is far from over.
Dwayne Mercer, a Cibolo police sergeant, said investigators are still working to find out who picked up 14-year-old MiKayla Lindow from her home. Last Monday, she ran away. MiKayla's parents discovered her makeup and some of her clothes were gone from her room.
Family members told police that MiKayla had made comments to them that she intended to run away that day. Her parents said she was communicating with several boys on SnapChat and Instagram. They said she may have run away with someone she met online.
Around 3 a.m. Saturday, officers found MiKayla 13 miles away at a Jack in the Box near NE loop 410 in San Antonio. Mercer said she knocked on the window of the fast food restaurant to get an employee's attention.
"A lady who came through the drive-thru said, 'Hey! that girl looks like the female that's missing.' They called the San Antonio Police Department. In the end, that is why she was found. Someone from the drive-thru looked in and saw her and was able to point that out," said Mercer.
MiKayla left behind a cell-phone when she took off from her parents’ home. Police said the device may hold some clues.
"There were some questionable things that were on her account that we're looking to see if we can identify some people," said Mercer.
Mercer said as far as anyone facing charges, it will depend on what happened during the week that she was gone.
"We're trying to put together a time line as to where she went the first day and how she ended up where she did," said Mercer.
Police said it's fortunate MiKayla was found safe and said her case serves as a lesson for other parents.
"Not only about this case, its social media in general. Be aware of what your kids are doing. Educate them on the kind of people they're talking to on these social media [websites and apps]. They're not going to be that person the majority of the time," said Mercer.
MiKayla's father said his daughter is resting at home. On Sunday, he wrote a statement about her safe return on his Facebook page:
Dear Friends and Family,
By now you have probably heard that MiKayla has been found and returned to us. She is okay as are we. We are all extremely tired but rejoicing in her safety. Information must remain very limited at this time as the police investigation continues.
We cannot begin to express our appreciation to our church family, extended family, friends, law enforcement agencies, media and complete strangers who have prayed, walked the streets, put up flyers, posted on social media, conducted interviews... We will never know what flyer, media report, or action by law officials was the key to her return but it all worked together to bring her home.
Times like this reveal the beautiful hearts of so many. We have been touched by some incredible policemen, detectives and other law enforcement agents. I wish I could give names but there are too many and I fear I would overlook some beautiful person.
Above and beyond all we give glory to our Lord Jesus Christ would has sustained us through His Word and His Body called the church. Isaiah 43 has been our consolation. He has indeed walked with us through the flood and we have not been overwhelmed and we have gone through the fire and have not been burned. (singed but not burned :o)
Please continue to pray and lift MiKayla before the Lord that healing will come quickly to her heart and mind. We will lay low for a few days but will be back in the action soon.
Love to all of you,
Pastor David and Lisa