Emma Linek, a 17-year-old Ohio girl who went missing Tuesday after arriving at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, has been found and is safe, officials said.
“Emma went to a local police department this afternoon and was reunited [with] Her father. FBI Atlanta appreciates the media and public’s help in spreading his picture and for all information More Tips,” FBI Atlanta tweeted sunday.
The bureau’s Atlanta office described the missing girl as “in danger” and in need of medication that she did not have at the time of her disappearance.
“Another thing that’s of concern is that Emma has no known ties to the city of Atlanta or has never been here before or doesn’t know anyone in Atlanta that we know,” FBI’s Atlanta Special Agent Christopher McCray field office said during a news conference with Linek’s father, Mike Linek, on Saturday.
McCray said Emma Linek had been clinically diagnosed with autism.
Emma Linek was initially booked on Tuesday on a direct Delta Airlines flight from Cleveland to Boston, but she missed the plane, officials said. McCray said he caught another flight with a layover in Atlanta.
“That flight change was unscheduled. So she didn’t know she was going to be in Atlanta,” McCray said. “Her bag made it to Boston, but she didn’t. Our top priority is to locate Emma and make sure she’s okay.”
McCray said surveillance video at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport captured the Linek, who also goes by the name Zari, appearing to be lost as he wandered around the airport.
He said Emma Linek was last seen Tuesday morning around 10 a.m. in the North Daily parking lot in Hartsfield, leaving the airport with a stranger.
McCray said law enforcement officers traced the man with whom Emma Linek was seen leaving the airport and interviewed him.
“We are in discussions with the person, but at this time we have not been able to locate Emma. Emma was not with the person,” McCray said.
McCray did not release the man’s name or say whether he is suspected of missing the girl.
Linek’s father, who had attended a news conference in Atlanta with McCray, pleaded with the public for any information about his daughter’s whereabouts.
He described his daughter as a “wonderful girl” with a “sweet bubbly personality”.
“She loves animals. She loves to sing,” said Mike Linek.
Emma Linek’s mother, Eleanor Linek, told ABC affiliate station WEWS-TV in Cleveland that her daughter was on her way to Boston to resume her medical boarding school.
The 5-foot-3, 160-pound teen was last seen sporting plaid pants, a black shirt and a white pillow. Eleanor and Mike Linek said their daughter didn’t have a cell phone.
Eleanor Linek said she dropped off her daughter at Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport on Tuesday morning.
“We took her to the airport, she went through security, we saw her go through security and to her door,” said Eleanor Linek. “We don’t know what happened, if she found something to eat or what, but she missed her plane.”