HIGHLAND COUNTY, Ohio — The Highland County Sheriff’s Office announced Saturday that Madison Bell has been found safe.
18-year-old Bell was had been missing since Sunday, May 17.
The sheriff’s office indicates that Bell had left on her “own free will,” and sources indicate that she was looking to “start a new life.”
Prior to being reported as missing, Bell was last seen at her home, when she told her mother she was leaving to go to a tanning salon. She never returned, and her keys were found in the ignition of her abandoned vehicle at a church parking lot near the tanning salon along with her cellphone in the front seat of the car.
The Bell family released the following statement:
“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.”