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Missing Girl Returns Home

By Dan Hust
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — March 17, 2000 -- Missing for a week, a 12-year-old White Sulphur Springs girl has returned to her family after an unnerving trip to New York City.
According to George Zachmann, his daughter, Ashley, ran away from home the evening of Wednesday, March 8, taking nearly $200 of her parents’ money with her.
The State Police, who are still investigating the incident, said Ashley may have left home because she was grounded and not allowed to watch television or listen to the radio. Reportedly, Ashley had tried to sell some marijuana she found to fellow students at Liberty Middle School, garnering her a suspension.
After a few days, the police put out a notice asking the public to help find Ashley, but in the end, it was Ashley herself who ended the search.
Although Internet relationships and area sightings were investigated by police, George Zachmann simply said he was told his daughter boarded a bus to NYC and stayed in a hotel room overnight in Manhattan, thanks to a concerned stranger.
After wandering around Manhattan for a time, George Zachmann said Ashley hitched a ride to the Bronx, where she encountered some individuals who mistreated her.
After trying to secure a job to pay back the money she took from her parents, Ashley was convinced by an unidentified woman to call home, which she did on Wednesday of this week. The police picked her up shortly thereafter.
After an interview at the State Police barracks in Liberty, Ashley was taken to Community General Hospital in Harris, although George Zachmann said his daughter was not physically injured.
State Police did not give any further details.
As for George Zachmann and his family: “We’re glad we’ve got her back,” he said.

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