Edmonton police say teen who went missing May 24 found unharmed

A file photo of an Edmonton Police Service uniform.
A file photo of an Edmonton Police Service uniform. Charles Taylor / Global News

UPDATE: On June 5, 2020, the Edmonton Police Service said a 14-year-old girl who had not been seen since May 24 was found safe and unharmed. Global News has removed the photo of the girl in this story as well as her name and the names of her family in order to protect her privacy.

The family of a missing 14-year-old Edmonton girl organized a search party on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Edmonton police issued a plea for help from the public as they try to locate the teen, whose “disappearance is considered to be out of character.”

“I just want her to come home, I just want to hug her again, she was at my house, like three days before she went missing,” the teen’s cousin said on Thursday.

In a news release, police said the teen was last seen by a friend in the area of 146 Avenue and 117 Street on Sunday, May 24. She was reportedly planning to meet some friends.

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On Thursday, hundreds of people formed search party, which started at Kinsmen Park. The group divided up to search seven zones. People hung up fliers, gave out hand bills and also asked people if they have seen or heard from the teen.

Another cousin of the teen called her a “sweet girl. “She never has done anything bad before. I don’t understand what is going on.”

She said she believes police aren’t doing enough and that they sent out the media release of the disappearance too late.

“We have no faith in EPS. They’ve proved it already, nine-day reporting a 14-year-old [missing], it’s not right, that’s not proper police protocol at all.”

Police said in an email to Global News that a media release is only one technique used when looking for a missing person. The EPS said its investigation started right away after it was reported on May 25.

After initial follow-up checks were completed, a patrol car was dispatched. The missing persons unit got involved three days later.

“It is unusual for her to be away from home for this long,” police said in the media release, adding that foul play is not suspected.