Multiple agencies search for runaway teen along Virgin River

ST. GEORGE — The search for a runaway St. George teen spawned a multi-agency response Tuesday night after authorities feared she may have been swept away by the Virgin River.

A 13-year-old girl who reportedly had a disagreement with her parents ran away and was last seen in the area of Millcreek High School off Riverside Drive around 8 p.m., according to a press release from the St. George Police Department.

St. George Police officers who were searching for the girl found her bicycle on the the bank of the Virgin River, St. George Police Lt. Jordan Minnick said.

“(This) caused us some concern, particularly because of how high and fast the water is running,” he said.

The above average snowpack and late spring runoff this year has raised the river’s water level, and it is unpredictable and less placid.

Read more: Search and rescue crews respond after 3 inner tube riders fall into Virgin River

The St. George Police Department called for assistance from the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue swift-water rescue team, as well as the St. George Fire Department and Intermountain Life Flight out of Dixie Regional Medical Center.

Members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue swift-water rescue team arrive at the scene to help find a runaway teen feared to have been swept into the Virgin River, St. George, Utah, May 28, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The helicopter repeatedly flew down the course of the Virgin River to the River Road bridge and back to the area near Waterfront Drive where the police department had set up its incident command post.

Just as search and rescue volunteers arrived with trailer of equipment, the girl was found around 9:50 p.m.

Searchers had missed the girl because she was in an area along the riverbank that was thick with brush, Minnick said.

“It was the best case scenario,” he said, because the girl was found alive and unharmed.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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