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Missing girl found, teen disappeared from Medora musical 'just took off,' deputy says

MEDORA -- A 13-year-old Colorado girl who went missing during the Medora Musical Wednesday night, prompting authorities to issue a statewide notice, was found unharmed walking along a road east of Medora on Thursday morning.

Samantha Jo Elliott, who had been attending the musical with her brother and grandparents from Dickinson, was not injured, Billings County Deputy John Tczap said.

"She basically just took off from up there," he said. "She wasn't taken against her will or anything like that."

Elliott is from the Fort Collins, Colo., area. The sheriff's office said she went missing from the Burning Hills Amphitheater at about 9:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Prior to intermission, Elliott informed her family she was going to the restroom, but she didn't return, Tczap said. Her brother tried to find her but couldn't, and the family reported her missing to the sheriff's office at about 10:20 p.m., he said.

The sheriff's office initially called Elliott's disappearance "unusual and concerning," but an Amber Alert wasn't issued because there was no evidence that Elliott was abducted or in grave physical danger, said Rick Robinson, planning specialist for the North Dakota Division of Homeland Security.

However, the Amber Alert network was used to issue a statewide notice because authorities were concerned that Elliott wasn't from the area and they didn't know if she had acquaintances in the area, Robinson said.

Nowatzki is a reporter at The Forum of

Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by

Forum Communications Co.