Updated: Missing Potomac 15-Year-Old Has Been Located
Victoria Yeutter, a freshman at Connelly School of the Holy Child, was last seen in the early morning hours between Sunday and Monday. The 15-year-old's disappearance sparked a social media campaign looking to find her.
Update, Wednesday April 11, 7:30 p.m.: Victoria Yeutter has been found and is in police custody waiting to meet with her family, according to a friend of the family, Fred Morris.
"She's been found, she's been located," Morris said. The Yeutter family is traveling to meet Victoria tonight, who was located out of state earlier today.
Morris and his family began the social media campaign on Facebook to help find Victoria. They have updated the site to let followers know she has been located.
Montgomery County Police were unable to immediately confirm that Victoria had been found Wednesday night.
Original story, Tuesday April 10: When Potomac mother Cristy Yeutter woke up early Monday morning, she dressed to wake her three children and take her youngest to school. But instead of finding her daughter Victoria in her bed, Yeutter was greeted by mounds of stuffed animals placed to look like the sleeping 15-year-old and a goodbye note.
Family, friends and strangers alike are now searching for the missing girl, after she ran away in the early morning hours of Monday, April 9. Less than 24 hours after Victoria was reported missing, hundreds of Facebook posts, tweets, Tumblr posts and blogs were calling for her safe return. Posts are pouring in from as far away as Los Angles and Scotland, U.K., while at home Cristy Yeutter’s phone is ringing off the hook with calls from concerned neighbors and friends.
“Victoria has no idea how many people love her, and it’s just so wonderful,” Yeutter said.
Described as an artistic and creative child by family and friends, Victoria is a freshman at Connelly School of the Holy Child. She was last seen around midnight on Sunday by her mother.
“I woke up Monday morning and I went to wake Victoria up,” Yeutter said. “I saw that she wasn’t there and that she had left a note to say that she was leaving and that she just needed a break, and not to worry.”
The family says they have no idea where she may have gone, but that she took enough money with her to get on a bus and may have left the area.
Victoria’s pictures show a smiling young girl with brown hair and braces. According to Yeutter, Victoria’s braces have been removed and she died her hair black since her most recent school photos were taken. She said Victoria didn’t take a computer or phone with her.
“She’s not with anybody that we would automatically go to, friends or family, and so I think she’s intentionally keeping away from people that she knows I might seek out," Yeutter said. "I think for right now she doesn’t want to be found.”
Victoria had been experiencing what her mom called typical teenage issues. She described her daughter, whom the family adopted from Russia when she was just a few months old, as loving and sociable but fiercely independent.
“Neither one of us is shocked, but we’re so sad that she actually did it,” Yeutter said of herself and husband Clayton Yeutter. “She’s a very bright, capable girl, and I think she thinks that she’s far more capable of being out on her own than she really is; than any 15-year-old really is.”
A missing person report for Victoria was filed April 9 around 1:07 p.m., according to Montgomery County Police spokesperson Rebecca Innocenti. After filing the report, family friends suggested the Yeutters start a social media campaign on Facebook to spread the word about finding Victoria.
Her page has now been shared over 500 times on Facebook, with posts tumbling into Twitter, blogs and Tumblr.
The family appreciates the support, but also worries the attention will make it more difficult for Victoria to come home and return to a normal life.
“I wouldn’t necessarily have told the world like this,” Cristy Yeutter said. “I feel so sad for her because now everyone is going to know. They’re searching for her, it’s online. I worry that she’ll be embarrassed.”
The family has tried to maintain a normal routine for their two younger daughters to help them keep busy. Yeutter said that if her daughter sees the attention her disappearance has created she wants her to know one thing:
“We love you, and we want you to find a way to be happy at home. The world is not a place for a 15-year-old on their own.”
Montgomery County Police say they are investigating the case but don’t have information for the public yet.
“Officers on the scene are following up on information, but don’t want to get into specifics right now,” Officer Innocenti said. “If there is information they think the public can help with, they’ll certainly follow up with letting the public know.”