Missing Neb. teen beauty queen found in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/WANE) – Police say the FBI found a missing teenager from Nebraska in Lawrence, Ind. The Associated Press reports that she was in good health when she was taken into custody.

Michaela Wells went missing from her home in Bellevue, Neb., Sunday; she was found over 600 miles away in Lawrence, Ind., sometime Thursday.

According to a Facebook page where her family has been posting updates, Wells is a former Miss Nebraska Teen contestant.

At this point, police haven’t said why she was in Lawrence, who she was with or where she was found.

WANE’s sister station WISH learned the FBI was part of the search; Wells was found with the help of the Lawrence Police Department.

Her family says they last saw her Sunday night when she took out the trash and never came back.

Omaha Police Chief Mark Elbert said he has no reason to think Wells was kidnapped, but there’s no information to indicate she ran away.

“I can’t confirm that she ran away, I don’t have that information,” Elbert said as the search was underway. “I can’t confirm that she was abducted. We’ll characterize her as a missing person.”

Her mother, Theresa Norris, said all her belongings are still in their house.

“She’s missing so she’s in danger to me,” Norris said. “She’s not where she should be, she’s not safe here, we can’t touch her, we can’t see her, we don’t know what she could be going through.”

Police said she did sneak out of her house once before, but she came back the next day.

Electronics from the home could help in the investigation; data from an Xbox, computer and Wells’s cell phone could provide clues.

The FBI’s website says they don’t investigate all missing persons cases, so it’s unclear at this point why this case was picked up.


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