One day after issuing a plea to the public, RCMP say the missing 13-year-old Ladysmith girl is safe.
Payton MacDonald was located and is safe and sound, Island RCMP said in a news release.
While police and media don’t typically name missing youth located safely, the search for MacDonald was highly publicized and the public showed great concern.
MacDonald was last seen March 15 on Harbour View Road in Ladysmith. The next day, Ladysmith RCMP received a request from the Ministry of Children and Family Development to conduct a wellness check on the girl.
Police said the ministry possessed a court order directing the girl’s father to disclose her whereabouts, but he would not and was arrested.
MacDonald’s father, who has full parental custody according to police, was released after a March 18 bail hearing but was arrested again March 23 for continuing to disobey the court order.
After following several leads including social media claims, RCMP held a briefing March 31 in Victoria, calling on the public to contact them with any information about the girl or her whereabouts to verify her safety. The following morning, RCMP reported she had been found.
– With files from Jake Romphf
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