North Mississippi teens found safe after escape from rehab - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Miss. teenagers found safe after escape from rehab

Five teens who escaped from the custody of a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Dublin, MS, Sunday have been found safe. The search lasted from noon Sunday until just after 7 a.m. Monday. Five teens who escaped from the custody of a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Dublin, MS, Sunday have been found safe. The search lasted from noon Sunday until just after 7 a.m. Monday.

(WMC-TV) - Five teens who escaped from the custody of a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Dublin, MS, Sunday have been found safe.

The search lasted from noon Sunday until just after 7 a.m. Monday.

Rescuers feared temperatures in the twenties could prove deadly for the teenagers.

Local volunteers, authorities, and even the helicopter from the Memphis Police Department assisted in finding the teenagers.

"I don't think they had any idea what they were getting into," said Coahoma County Search and Rescue Captain Patrick Wood.

The facility took a group of clients to church when all of a sudden an apparent bathroom break turned into a daring escape from Clarksdale Baptist Church.

"They said they had been planning it out for about a week or two," Wood said after talking with the teens and investigators.

Director Shane Garrard says they take their patients to outings like church once a week to help motivate them to continue their long-term rehabilitation throughout the week.

"The supervision was there, but when they made their mind up, they took off," Garrard said.

Phone calls to the parents were difficult for Garrard, and he said fear grew worse as the temperatures dropped.

"When the sun went down, we started really worrying," Garrard told us.

Finally around 6:30 Sunday evening rescuers got a break, finding two of the teens.

"When we found the first two kids, they were in the oncoming stages of hypothermia," Wood said.

Three more were still on the loose after dark. Search efforts continued into the early morning hours. At 4 a.m. rescuers stopped until daylight.

When the sun rose, they were able to get a small plane in the air. The aircraft and ground crews spotted the three juveniles in a field north of the airport.

Wood said they walked right to the truck, seemingly wanting to end their long getaway attempt.

"When we caught the kids this morning they were cold and they were tired," Wood said.

Garrard says with tears in their eyes, they apologized for the fear they caused the community who turned out in numbers to help search.

"It was just a mistake and they kept saying the regretted it as soon as they took the first step," Garrard said.

Wood said about 40 volunteer members of search and rescue squads from Coahoma and Bolivar counties teamed up with at least 10 members from the community to help find the teenagers.

"They are extremely lucky," Wood continued. "It could have been a recovery instead of a rescue."

Garrard told us the kids are in good health and will be welcomed back to the facility if they choose.

"We believe in second chances here at Sunflower Landing," he said.

He also said he was moved by the outpouring of support from the community.

We called the Coahoma County Sheriff to see if the teenagers would face charges, but our calls were not returned.

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