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UPDATE: Missing girls found safe; teen charged with kidnapping

Sheriff Chris Dickinson says the two were found in Tishomingo County Tuesday evening. The two were the subject of a MBI Endangered/Missing Child Alert.

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 1:08 PM
Updated: Aug 29, 2018 7:33 PM

Update 08/29/18 2:46 p.m.

Officers say the three youths know each other. Sheriff Chris Dickinson says Keene contacted Franz in order to pick her up. The two reportedly picked up Lease at a Fulton store. 

(L-R): Lease, Keene | Photo: MBI

The sheriff says Franz dropped the girls off briefly in Alabama, then all three returned to Mississippi in Tishomingo County where the two girls were spotted.

The sheriff says a Tishomingo County deputy saw Franz at a gas station and took him into custody. That's when he reportedly told officers the girls were left at the Iuka Walmart.

Even though the girls voluntarily got into the car, the 18-year-old is being charged with two counts of statutory kidnapping due to the girls' age.

Franz also faces charges in Alabama. 

Dickinson says Keene is currently at the Lee County Juvenile Detention Center for violating a parole. The sheriff didn't go into details about the youth's past.

Update 08/29/18 9:37 a.m.

Dylan Franz, 18, of Fulton, has been charged with two counts of kidnapping.

UPDATE: August 29, 8:45 a.m.

One person is in custody for the girls' disappearance, according to the Itawamba County Sheriff's Office. The suspect's name has not been released. The case is ruled a kidnapping, the sheriff's office said. The suspect with have an initial court hearing today.

UPDATE: August 28,10:47 p.m. 

Sheriff Chris Dickinson of the Itawamba County Sheriff's Department reports that Anna Grace Lease and Victoria Keene have been located in Tishomingo County.  Deputies are currently en route to pick up the two. Dickinson says the two were in Alabama for a brief time Tuesday before returning to Iuka.  The sheriff also says that at least one person will be charged in the girls' disappearance.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has issued an Endangered/Missing Child Alert for two girls from Fulton believed to be traveling together and may be in the Tupelo area.

They are Anna Grace Lease, 14, and Victoria Keene, 12.

Law enforcement says Lease was last seen about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of East Hill Street in Fulton. 

Keene was last seen about 10 p.m. Monday night in the 1200 block of John Rankin Highway in Fulton.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact the Itawamba County Sheriff's Department at 662-862-3401.

Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson says Lease has been in contact with her mother as of 10 a.m. Tuesday morning via text message. In the message Lease indicated she didn't want to go to juvenile detention, the sheriff confirmed.

The sheriff believes someone is helping the two girls and investigators want to find that person and talk with them.

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