Missing Macon teen found ‘cold and hungry’ after possibly hiding in shed since Sunday

Monroe County Sheriff's Office
·2 min read

A missing Macon girl who was last seen early Sunday after running away from a friend’s house in neighboring Monroe County was found safe about midday Tuesday, sheriff’s officials said.

Jorja Etheridge, 17, was found at a shed in a back yard less than a mile from where she was last seen in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Monroe Sheriff Brad Freeman told The Telegraph that at about noon Tuesday a woman on Hilltop Circle, off Loraine Woods Drive just west of U.S. 41, saw the teen walking out of a shed where Etheridge was thought to have been hiding.

“I know she was cold and hungry,” Freeman said.

The discovery brought to an end a two-and-a-half-day hunt for Etheridge, an effort that included helicopter, drone and ground searches that attracted upward of 100 volunteers and law enforcement officers.

The heavily wooded countryside where she was found is interspersed with subdivisions and lies about two miles south of Bolingbroke, between Interstate 75 and the I-475 bypass.

Officials have said that Etheridge, who lives near Bowman Road in northern Bibb County, had been at a party with friends late Saturday near Lake Tobesofkee.

She was said to have been spending the night at a home on North Rivoli Farms Road below Bolingbroke, but when her family couldn’t reach her by phone late Saturday her parents grew concerned and went to check on her at the house on North Rivoli Farms where she was sleeping over.

Freeman said Etheridge, having left the lake-area party, soon arrived at the sleepover house, riding up with friends at about 12:30 a.m.

It was then, Freeman said, that Etheridge apparently saw her parents’ car parked at the house.

The sheriff said that Etheridge, perhaps afraid that she might be in trouble, ran away and, until Tuesday, had not been seen.

Updates will follow on this developing story.

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