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UPDATE: Missing Rhea County teen found safe, sheriff’s department says

UPDATE, 3/30/23, from Local 3 News: A teenager missing out of Rhea County has been located, the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department said late Wednesday night.


According to officials, 15-year-old Maddie Neal was found safe.

“Thank you to all who have helped in this matter, we are very grateful for the communities help,” the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department said on social media. “Also the numerous other agencies that assisted in the investigation.”

From NewsChannel 9: The Rhea County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing teenager.


Officials say Florence “BJ” Neal alerted the sheriff’s department that her daughter Madison Nicole Neal went missing from their home.


BJ said as of 6 a.m. Friday, Madison was asleep in bed.


But when BJ returned home from work, her daughter was gone.


BJ told officials she kept Madison out of school on Friday so they could visit a family member in the hospital in Knoxville.


Madison is 5’5″ and weighs 120 lbs. There is no clothing description.


An older white Ford quad cab dually with heavily tinted windows was seen parked at the first pull-off on Bostic where there is an abandoned trailer.


No word from the sheriff’s office if the vehicle is related to her disappearance.


A juvenile on the Rhea County High School track team told the sheriff’s office Madison was thinking about running away with a boy from Chattanooga.


If you know any information, you’re asked to call the Rhea County Sheriff’s Office at (423) 775-7837.