Girl, 14, found safe in woods near home


GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A 14-year-old who was reported as a runaway over the weekend and then sought as a missing person has been found safe.

Mckinzie Locklin walked away from her home in the area of Eastern Avenue and 76th Street in Gaines Township on Saturday, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Monday, authorities said they were considering her a missing person.

A search party of Mckinzie’s brothers and sisters found her Tuesday while searching the woods in the area of Madison Avenue and 68th Street. That’s only a few blocks from her home.

“She just was like, ‘Hi,’ just casual. And she was happy that she was found,” Mckinzie’s sister Melissa Saganski said. “But didn’t completely grasp how scary it was.”

Mckinzie has a learning disability and she doesn’t process things the way other 14-year-olds do, Saganski said. She may have gotten scared about something and decided to hide.

“We ourselves made some missing flyers thinking we would need them and thankfully we don’t,” Saganski told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday.

It appears Mckinzie was out in the woods for about four days without food.

“My parents are with her now and they’re just trying to make sure she’s completely OK,” Saganski said. “But we also want her to understand the seriousness of what happened and that if she gets scared, you have to get help. You can’t hide.”

Mckinzie has run away twice before — once in 2010 and once in 2013.

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