A 15-year-old Media girl missing since Sept. 21 has been found safe in Philadelphia.
“Riley (Harkins) was located this afternoon in Philadelphia and will be re-united with her family,” said Delaware County District Attorney Kat Copeland in a release Wednesday afternoon. “We thank the community and the press for their outpouring of support which was instrumental in locating her. The investigation into this matter is ongoing.”
The search for Harkins intensified during her 12-day absence from home, with local, state and federal authorities joining the efforts. Media Police Chief Martin Wusinich said earlier Wednesday that he believed she was “potentially in grave danger” due to the length of time and lack of solid tips on her whereabouts. Wusinich could not immediately be contacted for comment following word Harkins had been found.
Harkins had last been seen by her friend, Natalie Ciferni, on Monday morning in the Kingsessing section of Philadelphia around the area of 57th Street, 54th Street, Reedland Street and Greenway Avenue, according to information provided by Media police.
The two left Harkins' home on the afternoon of Sept. 21 and took a train to Philadelphia late the next night, according to information Ciferni provided to police. Ciferni, who was also initially missing but returned home last week, relayed that the girls met some people in the city that they did not know, according to Media Police Sgt. Rob Brown. He said Ciferni left on the morning of Sept. 23 to return home, but Harkins stayed behind.
The search prompted family members to create a Facebook page titled “Missing Teen Riley Harkins-15yr /Media Pa,” and police and family members pasted potential sites Harkins was seen with flyers pleading for help from the public.
A Sept. 25 post on the Facebook page asking the public to help find Harkins had been shared more than 2,700 times by the time she was located.
“We thank our fellow law enforcement partners, including the lead agency, the Media Police Department, our Criminal Investigation Division, as well as the Philadelphia Police Department, the Septa Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Marshals Service for their great work in ensuring Riley safe return,” said Copeland in the release.
No additional information was immediately available.