CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A south Charlotte 13-year-old who had been missing since the beginning of the week was found unharmed near her home late Thursday night, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.
Earlier in the evening, police were searching fields and wooded areas where Kiley Hegger was known to visit before she disappeared from her south Charlotte apartment.
The Union Faith Christian Academy sixth grader was last seen asleep in her bedroom late Monday night. Her parents realized she was missing from their ground-level apartment when they checked in on her about a half hour later.
Amid growing concerns for the teenager, CMPD officials held a news conference Thursday night to announce that missing persons detectives had turned the case over to the Homicide Unit.
Police said they didn’t think the girl was abducted and that she had run away from home in the past – but never without being in contact with friends or family and never for so long.
Hegger was reunited with her parents shortly before midnight Thursday. Police have not commented on where the teen was found.
She briefly contacted someone through social media during the early hours of her disappearance, police said. She used Internet applications on a device that was not a cell phone to reach out to that person, police said.
But no one had heard from her or seen her since.
Her parents have said all along that she didn’t run away.
The N.C. Center for Missing Persons Thursday had not issued an Amber alert for the teenager – a critical step when police agencies suspect a child has been kidnapped or that foul play is involved, center supervisor Nona Best said.
Ninety-five percent of the missing-persons cases involving 13- to 17-year-olds reported to the Raleigh center each month are runaways, Best said. The center receives 96 such reports every month.