An 11-year-old Northwood girl that was reported missing by her mother early this morning was later found with relatives in Minnesota and now the Worth County Attorney is deciding whether or not to file charges.
Local police say they were called a little before two A.M. to the Northwood home of Barb Krauth who told them her daughter Catie was missing. Krauth told officers the girl had left in a white car with two men and one woman.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Jim Saunders says Catie was found late this morning safe in the care of family friends about twenty miles away across the Minnesota border.
Saunders says as the investigation progressed, they found evidence that the girl might be with friends of her family in Austin, Minnesota, and then located her there. With help from Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the U.S. Marshal’s Office, they found the girl with friends of her mother in Austin, Minnesota.
Saunders says it’s not clear why the mother apparently field the false report.
He says investigators still don’t know exactly why and how the report was made, and he says they used a lot of resources finding the girl and are just glad she was found safe.
Saunders says while fifteen law enforcement agencies from Iowa and Minnesota took time and manpower to participate, the release of a public alert did turn up information on the child’s whereabouts. Saunders says information started coming in from friends of the family who heard officers might be looking for the girl. He says at the time they got the first information, they went with it as the information seemed important to release since the girl’s whereabouts were unknown. Saunders says as the investigation continued, “It would appear that this information was erroneous.”
Saunders says it’s never a waste of resources, and law enforcement has to do everything possible to find someone who’s missing, especially children. He says it’s not clear why the mother made the report, but everyone’s glad the girl’s been found safe.
Saunders says the Worth County Attorney could file a variety of charges against Krauth, including filing a false report to law enforcement.