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Ga. teen who vanished more than 2 years ago found safe, police say

ATLANTA, Ga. — A Georgia teen who vanished more than two years ago has been found safe, police announced Tuesday.

Laci Smith vanished from her home in Aragon on Feb. 28, 2021, when she was 17 years old, according to the Aware Foundation.

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The Aragon Police Department posted on social media on Tuesday that Smith has been found and that she is safe.

Aragon Police Chief Judy Collins said that on July 24, she got a message from a division of the federal government that helps in finding missing persons and was able to talk to Smith over the phone, who verified that she was safe but asked police not to reveal her location.

“She’s almost 19. Because she is a legal adult, there is nothing (her family) can do at this time),” Collins said.

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Collins said Smith’s father was just happy to know his daughter is OK.

“Her father was extremely happy actually,” Collins said. “He said he was just glad to hear that she is safe.”

Family members also reacted to the news on social media.

“She is my granddaughter’s first cousin,” Cindy Patterson wrote on the Facebook post. “We do not know any details whatsoever other than she is safe and we are so very grateful. We truly appreciate the detectives and all of the posts shared, thoughts and most of all the prayers.”

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Family members have consistently posted fliers on social media in the two years since Smith’s disappearance and shared possible sightings of her.

Aragon, Georgia is about 60 miles northwest of Atlanta.