Runaway found after five months

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
March 13, 2002
Beth Butler had a good night's sleep for the first time in five months Tuesday, because she knew where her daughter was.
Amber Moody, 15, who left her Lauderdale home on Oct. 9, was found Tuesday afternoon by law enforcement officers at a trailer park in Chunky. She is being held in the Lauderdale County Juvenile Detention Center.
Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell said investigator Jim Stephens had received a tip from a Newton County resident that Moody was living at the trailer park. Residents at the park made positive identification of Moody from photographs shown by Stephens.
Newton County deputies caught up with Moody at the trailer park and turned her over to Lauderdale County authorities.
Butler was working at the canteen at East Mississippi State Hospital when she got the word at about 3:15 p.m. that Moody had been found and was on her way to Lauderdale County.
Butler identified her daughter when she was brought to the detention center. Moody was claiming she was not who deputies thought she was. She had cut her hair short and dyed it a darker color. Butler said her daughter appears to have gained some weight.
Butler placed information about her daughter with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The center circulated fliers recently with Moody's picture on them and the resident who reported Moody told the sheriff's department that she recognized her from one of those fliers.

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