Missing Ohio Madison Bell, 18, was found safe after disappearing Sunday, according to police.
Madison was reported missing at 11.20am on Sunday May 17 after she left her home to visit a tanning salon just hours before her high school graduation ceremony.
His car was later found abandoned in a church parking lot, locked with his cell phone and keys still inside, prompting immediate doubt over playing foul.
However, the Highland County Sheriff’s Office said today that Madison was contacted to confirm that he was safe and left to his own free will, but did not want his location revealed. Police said no arrests will be made in the case.
Missing Ohio Madison Bell, 18, was found safe after missing Sunday
Madison’s family is certain that she will not be leaving on her own hours before graduation, but it now appears that she has left her alone and does not want her family to find her.
The teen’s disappearance caused great concern to the community, and a $ 15,000 reward was posted for information leading to his return.
Madison’s family released a statement saying: ‘We demand that the public and the media respect our privacy at this time of need.’
‘We are relieved to know that Maddie is alive and not in physical danger.’
The family thanked all the agencies for participating in the massive search for teenagers, as well as the community for meeting around them during the trial.
‘Every single effort to find Maddie has touched us and we value it from the bottom of our hearts,’ the statement added.
The mysterious case quickly attracted the mysterious case, with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine calling for the teen’s safe return, and the FBI joining the investigation.
The teenager disappeared just two days after Ohio’s gardening business opened following coronavirus locks.
When Madison, known to her family and friends as ‘Maddie,’ was unable to return to the tanning salon after about an hour, her mother began texting and calling her, but no response was received.
Madison’s mother Melissa Bell (left), and teenage boyfriend Cody Mann (right), made an emotional request for her safe return during the week she was missing
Madison (pictured left with her live-in boyfriend) is set to graduate on Sunday afternoon. His mother said he would never miss it
Mother Melissa Bell insists that her daughter will never leave her family and friends, especially during the weekend.
‘He would always contact me even though he would be gone for five minutes,’ the agitated mother said after disappearing.
Worried that Madison may have been in a car accident, her mother and boyfriend had been riding in the parking lot of Good Shepherd Church near the Corner Market viewing salon, where they found her car.
‘The windows were up, we opened the door, put down his phone, the keys were on the ignition, the change was in the container he had. The vehicle was left unlocked, ‘the mother told WHIO. ‘He wouldn’t leave his car locked, he wouldn’t leave his phone there.’
Bell’s car was found abandoned along with keys still on fire in the Good Shepherd Church parking lot in Highland County (pictured)
Madison Bell, 18 (left and right), was last seen leaving her home in Ross County, Ohio, on Sunday night. He was headed to a tanning salon, but he never made it there
Bell said he tried to unlock Madison’s phone but failed and gave it to law enforcement.
Cody Mann, Madison’s girlfriend of five years, shed tears asking for her safe return to a WXIX-TV interview on Tuesday.
‘She is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in my life. I mean, I can’t even explain … I just want him home, ‘he said through sobs.
‘I’ll see you when you get back to the last thing I said’, he added.
This person, located near the spot where Madison’s vehicle was located, was searched, but it is unclear if he had a connection to the case
More than 300 volunteers came out to search Madison on Sundays and Mondays, spending thousands of people time vaulting trails and woods, and distributing flyers.
On Thursday, police released images of a man and a car with California plates sought in connection with the case, saying the man was seen in the parking lot where Madison’s car was found.
A church staffer told police the white four-door car they found on the lot stood because there were no services because of COVID-19.
They said a white male was standing near the vehicle, which they believe had California license plates. A photo released by police was taken at a nearby business.
After Madison was confirmed safe, it was unclear if the man was related to his decision to leave his family without letting them know.