Missing 12-year-old Lancaster, SC girl found safe 300+ miles away, officials say

A 12-year-old girl who has been missing from South Carolina for 10 days was found safe more than 300 miles away in coastal Virginia Monday, officials said.

Iris Dariela Alvarado Betancourt was found at a construction site in Chesapeake, Va., near Norfolk, said Doug Barfield, spokesman for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

Betancourt went missing Nov. 19 from her home, officials said. She lived east of the York County line and the Town of Fort Mill, and south of the North Carolina border with Charlotte.

“What we know right now is she is safe,” Barfield said. “We will look at the entirety of how she left and what happened while she was gone.”

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Federal officials found the 12-year-old Monday as part of a search after family reported her missing. She will be reunited with her family, Barfield said.

Lancaster Sheriff Barry Faile said Nov. 23 in a statement authorities believed she left home with an unnamed 17-year-old male she had met online. Her disappearance led to a search by local law enforcement, South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division, and federal officials from Homeland Security and the FBI.

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