Police in Arkansas say they found a 15-year-old girl who ran away from home because she feared the family would be deported.
Authorities found Tanvi Marupally after getting a tip that she may have been sighted at a Tampa, Florida library, reports KARK.com.
KATV reports the Conway, Arkansas girl began walking up the train tracks until she hopped on a locomotive and ended up in Kansas City. Police say she checked into a homeless facility under an assumed name.
“After that two-month period, she decided that she was going to move,” police said. “As far as we know, it was a random choice in moving but she did catch a bus and she went to Tampa, Florida.”
Someone who spotted her in the library and recognized her from a missing poster snapped a photo and sent it to the police. Investigators determined it was indeed Marupally. Conway Police worked with the Tampa Police Department and the U.S. Marshall to track her down at the library when she eventually returned.
“Tanvi’s love for the library is ultimately what led to her discovery,” Conway Police Chief William Tapley said to the Arkansas Times.
The citizen who first spotted Marapully told KATV they recognized the missing teen through the Instagram page of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“I recognized the short hair and her stature looked very similar, but it was really the fact that she was wearing the same earrings in all of the pictures,” they said who asked not to be identified. “That was what made me realize that it was most definitely her.”
The Conway Police Department thinks it knows why Marapully ran away.
“We believe that it was due to the stress involved from information that she believed the family might end up being deported. And because of that, she felt it was best for her to leave,” the Arkansas Times reported police said.
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