Missing 16-year-old Dilworth girl found safe at WalmartA 16-year-old Dilworth girl who had been missing since Monday afternoon was located Tuesday night at a Walmart in Detroit Lakes.
By: Dave Olson, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead
A 16-year-old Dilworth girl who had been missing since Monday afternoon was located Tuesday night at a Walmart in Detroit Lakes.
Justine Opatril telephoned someone who kept her on the phone long enough for Becker County authorities to arrive at the store and find her, said Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist.
Bergquist said members of his department were heading to Detroit Lakes about 9:15 p.m. to pick up the girl and bring her home.
He said it was unclear how she got to Detroit Lakes.
About 50 searchers combed fields northeast of Dilworth during the day Tuesday in a fruitless search for Opatril, who went missing Monday after she became angry and ran from her home into a cornfield, Bergquist said.
Bergquist held a news conference near Opatril’s home north of Dilworth on Tuesday afternoon, stating that authorities didn’t know what had upset the young woman.
“She had been a little angry about something and was talking to her mother and took off, ran into the cornfield,” Bergquist said. “The family tried to find her and after a few hours gave us a call.”
As part of the search for her Monday night, authorities called in a Fargo MeritCare LifeFlight helicopter, which searched with lights, and a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter that scanned fields near the girl’s home with an infrared camera.
“They found every deer in the field,” Bergquist said. “We even found a fox that was actually in a foxhole with that (infrared) camera, so it’s very accurate.”
He said the teenager did not have her phone with her when she disappeared.
Monday night’s search employed a bloodhound and about 11:30 p.m. the dog may have picked up a scent, Bergquist said.
After following the trail through a cornfield, the dog appeared to lose the scent when he reached a nearby road.
Bergquist said it’s possible Opatril got into a vehicle.
“That could be a good reason why the dog lost a trail,” he said.
Opatril takes medication and Bergquist said her family was very worried for her when her whereabouts were unknown.
“This is the first time this has happened with her, so they are concerned,” Bergquist said.
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