Updated: 7:03 a.m. Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | Posted: 10:33 a.m. Monday, March 10, 2014

Neighbor finds missing Gwinnett girl walking down street, returns home safe

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. —

Gwinnett County police tell Channel 2 Action News that a 12-year-old girl, the subject of a day long search, has returned home and is safe.

Police said Kelsie Lee was found by a neighbor walking along West Jones Bridge Road.

The neighbor said she recognized the girl and asked her if she was Kelsie, and the girl said, "yes."

“I thought it seemed awfully late for a little girl to be walking, and strong feeling, and said to my husband, ' I think i might have just seen Kelsie,'” neighbor Jennifer Aliff said. “I saw the black and gold sweater and I stopped next to her and said, ‘Are you Kelsie?” and she said, 'Yes,' and I said, 'Sweetheart, everybody is looking for you, can I take you home?' She said, 'Please, I’m just so scared.'"

Kelsie was reported missing around 10 a.m. from the Jones Bridge Circle area of Peachtree Corners. Kelsie told her sister she was going to dump the trash, and never returned, police said. Kelsie's mother notified police after learning that her daughter never made it to school.

“This isn’t, 'Mom, dad, I hate you.' It doesn’t  have anything to do with that that’s why there are still suspicious circumstances as to why she left,” Cpl. Ritter said. 

Police set up a command center on the 4500 block of Jones Bridge Circle Monday, searching a wooded area nearby.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, Gwinnett County police said they were calling off the search for Lee for the evening, saying they had exhausted all leads at that point.

Kelsie was reunited with her family shortly before 11:15 p.m. Monday.

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