A 14-year-old girl who went missing Saturday was located Friday in Maryville, Tenn. The man she was with is facing charges from the Blount County Sheriff's office.
Conway Police Det. Brian Williams said that Lidia Mendez was found by deputies of the Blount County Sheriff's Department on the outskirts of Maryville, which is near Knoxville. Williams said Lidia and the man had been there since last weekend.
"She had left last Saturday voluntarily," Williams said. "Through investigative work, the Conway Police Department was able to alert the Blount County Sheriff's Office of a location where we believed Lidia to be. Those officers located her at the residence, and she is now being extradited to the care of her guardian. They will then both return to Conway."
Williams said the man has been charged by Blount County, but he did not the specific charges. He also said he did not know any details on the man Friday night. The investigation will continue next week, Williams said, and more charges could come from this department.
Lidia disappeared from her brother’s home, where she was staying, this past Saturday. She took a backpack filled with clothes, a flip phone and apparently left.
Lidia is an intelligent child who likes to read, said Joan Cornwell of Morrilton. Cornwell is Lidia’s legal guardian, but Lidia had moved to the Conway area about a year and a half ago and lived with her two brothers.
Cornwell said Thursday that Lidia did not like the Conway school district and had struggled to adjust. Then recently, the family took away her iPhone after they found she was talking to older men who were strangers to the family, Cornwell said.
The family spoke to Lidia on Friday, but by Saturday afternoon, she had disappeared and was last seen around the Oak Street area.
This is the second time this year Lidia has run away, Williams said. However, last time Lidia went to her pastor’s home and was found immediately.