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Teen missing from Union Co. found safe in Virginia

Updated: Sep. 15, 2020 at 10:38 AM EDT
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INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. (WBTV) - A Union County teen who was reported missing, believed to be with a man from Virginia, has been found and is safe.

Katie Anne Fleig was reported missing on Friday, Sept. 11, from her home in Indian Trail. Her family said she was picked up by man in his 20s possibly named Ryan.

Officials asked for help finding her, and her family quickly started a Facebook page, “Finding Katie Anne Fleig,” to help bring her home.

On Sept. 29, the Union County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Fleig was found in Virginia and was safe. They said contact had been made, and she told deputies she had left home voluntarily.

Investigators said early on that it appeared Fleig left her home voluntarily and no foul play was suspected, but her father Tim was concerned.

He says she left a note behind reading “I love you but I can’t live here anymore.”

He was worried that she could be in danger.

“A month and a half ago I noticed she had a brand shiny new phone and she was hiding it and I knew something was up," Fleig said soon after her disappearance.

He said she would not tell him who bought her the phone, but he fears it was a man who may have lured her to leave.

“She’s got everything going for her in the world, she had a great job, friends, people who love for her, people who care for her," he said. "There’s nothing she can’t achieve. She’s that awesome.”

He had a message for her if she was watching at the time of WBTV’s report: “Wherever you are, whoever you’re with, always know that you can come home anytime and we will love you just as much as we loved you before, never any less."

Friends and family even held a prayer vigil for her and another 15-year-old young woman who ran away two days before Katie did.

No further information about the case has been released.

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