Missing Lancaster County 12-year-old girl found safe in Va., authorities say

LSO [File Photo]
LSO [File Photo](Ryan Swanigan (KOLN))
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 4:19 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2021 at 12:01 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A 12-year-old girl who was reported missing from her Lancaster County home over a week ago has been found safe, according to deputies.

According to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, Iris Dariela Alvarado Betancourt was located “safe and healthy” Monday morning in the Chesapeake, Va., area.

Authorities said federal authorities spotted Iris at a construction site in Chesapeake where she was hanging out with the 17-year-old boy she is believed to have met online and who is believed to have picked her up in Lancaster County around Nov. 19.

Local authorities were contacted, and Iris was approached. Authorities in Virginia are making necessary arrangements for Iris to be reunited with her family, according to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

The status of the 17-year-old is unknown at this time, but the investigation will continue, authorities said.

“I am thrilled Iris has been located and will shortly be reunited with her family,” Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said. “The search for Iris was all-hands-on-deck, and we appreciate the efforts of SLED, the United States Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Norfolk and Chesapeake Police Departments.”

Law enforcement said Iris was with her family at her home on Dana Court in Indian Land Friday night, but was missing from her room at 7 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20.

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