The Minnesota teenager whose latest runaway episode prompted a poignant and personal Facebook plea from a police chief in another town has turned up safe in Duluth, more than 200 miles from her home southwest of the Twin Cities in Montgomery.
Audrey Lukes, who turned 16 on Wednesday, “turned herself in” and was on her way back Thursday afternoon in the custody of the Le Sueur County sheriff’s office, said Montgomery Police Officer Dan Siebsen. She had been missing since Feb. 22.
Siebsen, who is assigned to Lukes’ case, said he has yet to speak with the teenager and didn’t know whether she was aware of the plea made to her Tuesday on Facebook by Kenyon Police Chief Lee Sjolander.
Sjolander, who bounced around southern Minnesota early in life with his mother and siblings until he ran away from home at age 13, made his appeal for Lukes to come back in strictly personal terms. He said he was reaching out as an “old guy who’s a dad first, and a cop second.”
The chief said Lukes’ case came to his attention when Montgomery police said she might have been in Kenyon, roughly 35 southeast of the girl’s home.
Sjolander said he got word from Montgomery police that Lukes had been found. “I’d love to” meet her, if she agrees, he said.