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Missing teen with special needs found safe in Seminole County, police say

12:29 PM, Jul 8, 2013   |    comments
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A teenager who was missing for more than 24 hours was found safe in Seminole County, investigators said Monday morning.

Nicole Crowder, 17, who has the mental capacity of a 9-year-old, was last seen in Daytona Beach, according to her mother.

Officers said she was found in good health, but investigators did not elaborate further.

"I honestly think that she was lured away," said her mother, Kimberly Williams. "I don't think she was dragged away, but I think she was lured away.  She is very childlike. She has the mental intellect of an 8- or 9-year-old. She thinks everybody is her friend. She is very trusting."

The Volusia County Beach Patrol said Crowder was last seen at 5:30 p.m. Saturday with an unknown man and an unknown woman on the beach near the Econo Lodge on South Atlantic Avenue. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office released a sketch of the man on Sunday.

Nicole's aunt was with her and noticed another teen talking to Nicole. The aunt said a man with gold teeth came up and tried to hit on her (the aunt), but she didn't pay attention to him.

"I honestly think it was a whole set up scheme," Williams said. "Somebody out there has seen her. And I am asking you to please release my child."

Crowder is visiting from St. Louis, and her family said she doesn't have any friends there.

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