NC Woman Who Disappeared in 2011 Found Living in Ohio

Rachel Owens took on fake identity: cops
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2016 7:25 AM CST
NC Woman Who Disappeared in 2011 Found Living in Ohio
Rachel Natacha Owens   (FBI)

A North Carolina woman who seemingly vanished in 2011 has been found safe and living under a false name in Columbus, Ohio, police say. Rachel Natacha Owens was just 15 when she was last spotted getting off a school bus and into a vehicle in the parking lot of South Brunswick High School in Boiling Spring Lakes, reports the Wilmington Star News. The teen had previously run away for brief periods, per the New York Daily News, and for five years, Owens' parents and five siblings didn't hear a word from her. In 2014, however, FBI agents say they received a tip that Owens might be in Columbus—which is exactly where she was found around noon Friday, according to the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.

The 21-year-old—previously believed to be with a much older man, per the Star News—had left North Carolina of her own accord and "went to great lengths to intentionally conceal her whereabouts, even assuming a false identity and date of birth," police say in a release. "There is no foul play in Rachel’s disappearance and no charges will be pursued at this time." In that respect, it's a happy ending because "some people assumed you are never going to find her because ... you're chasing a ghost," FBI Special Agent Rich Novelli says. "Thankfully none of us gave up." It isn't clear if a reunion is expected. (Police have a new lead in a 47-year-old disappearance.)

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