Missing 13-year-old found in woods near camp after taking taxi M - KMOV.com

Missing 13-year-old found in woods near camp after taking taxi Monday; taxi driver charged

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Jate'a Lejla Frank was found Tuesday morning Jate'a Lejla Frank was found Tuesday morning

WARTBURG, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Police have located a 13-year-old girl who was reported missing after taking a taxi to a camp in Wartburg, Illinois Monday.

Jate'a Lejla Frank was found by Joyce Mathes in the woods near the camp around 10 Tuesday morning.

Mathes told News 4 she was walking back to her house when she saw a young woman and approached her. When Mathes called for help, the girl took off into the woods but a search team was able to track her down.

After being found, Frank was taken to the hospital via ambulance to be treated for dehydration. The girl is expected to make a full recovery.

The girl's mother, Tyeisa Harris, said her daughter attended the Treehouse Camp at Camp Wartburg the week of June 14. She said her daughter enjoyed the camp and wanted to go back but no plans were made.

After returning home from camp, Harris said Frank was reserved and kept to herself.

Harris told News 4 her husband received a call from the camp after they located Frank's bags on Monday. The girl's mother called the school where Frank was supposed to be and was told she wasn't there. Harris then dialed the most recent number called from their home, which was a cab company.

Harris said her daughter took money from her drawer and paid the cab fee, a $110, in cash. Authorities later charged the taxi driver, Casey L. McPeak, with endangering the health and welfare of a child.

Camp executive Bob Polanski told News 4 Frank had three bags and no cell phone when she was dropped off at the campgrounds by a taxi around 11:00 a.m. and walked into some nearby woods. Polanski said 4 the girl lives more than one hour away from the campgrounds, near Mount Vernon.

Crews searched the area until around 2 a.m. before taking a break for the night. The search for the missing girl resumed around 8 Tuesday morning.

Tracking dogs and a St. Louis County Police helicopter were used to assist in searching through roughly 120 acres of woods and fields.

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