SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane police announced on Tuesday afternoon that Sara McNease, a teen missing for two weeks, has been found 'alive and well.'
According to Spokane Police Sergeant Terry Preuninger, the Major Crimes Unit has been in contact with an attorney representing McNease and confirmed she is safe. He later told KREM 2 she was found in California and as of 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, she was still there.
Preuninger said there is no indication that a crime was committed.
Preuninger said at this time, they are settling the missing person's case. The department thanked everyone who invested time and energy in attempting to locate her. He said we won't likely learn any other information about the case because no crime was committed and McNease is a juvenile.
Police said the family of Sara McNease reported her missing after her car with her belongings inside were found in the parking lot of Spokane Community College on Oct. 8. A note saying that McNease left with her boyfriend was also found inside of the car, police said.
One week after she went missing, Spokane Police Sgt. Terry Preuninger said authorities did not have any new information.
"It's absolutely concerning as she has been gone for so long," he added.
Preuninger said police were worried McNease could be in danger, adding that Major Crimes detectives were taking part in the investigation due to its serious nature.
McNease had recently begun attending the Running Start program at SCC. She was last seen leaving her home at 7 a.m. on Oct. 8. Shortly after, she contacted her mother and said she made it to school. But she didn't show up for school, and didn't come home after class, prompting her family to initiate a search.
Jill Hogberg, a spokesperson for Sara McNease's family spoke to KREM 2 on Oct. 10, surrounded by McNease's family and friends. Hogberg said running away is very out of character for McNease, and neither her friends nor family know of any romantic relationships she was involved in.
Hogberg said the note also did not appear to be in McNease's handwriting, and the note was signed using her legal name, which McNease hasn't used in years.
McNease does not have any bank accounts and all of her electronic devices were restored to factory settings and left behind.
Hogberg shared a statement from the family last week, pleading for Sara's safe return.
"Sara, if you are listening, please come home. You are not in trouble, you are loved. We just want you safe. Please come home," she said.
Hogberg said McNease is diagnosed with Asperger's, PTSD and Bipolar disorder. She also said McNease was recently talking with her family about things she was looking forward to, including a trip to Washington, D.C.
McNease is very trusting, a good student and has never run away before, Hogberg said.
The family was worried she could have been targeted by someone.
The police department said it ordered a handwriting analysis of the note left in McNease's car.