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Mike Terry, Deseret News
Robyn Atkinson is hugged by her father Brandon Atkinson as they speak with media while leaving the Sandy City Police Department Saturday.

SANDY — Minutes after police said they believed a missing teenager had been abducted the girl was found alive and well.

Police had planned to canvas neighborhoods surrounding 118th South and Highland Drive throughout the night for Robyn Atkinson but the search efforts were cut short with the girl's safe recovery.

The girl was found at approximately 6:30 p.m. at a home in the area, Sandy Police Chief Stephen Chapman said. He would not say if she was abducted. The girl, who has a severe learning disability, was reunited with her family.

Officials say a 17-year-old boy has been detained by police for questioning.

A phone call came into a tip line that members of the Utah Attorney General's Child Abduction Response Team followed up on, resulting in her safe recovery.

"All of those things worked together to find her," said Chapman. "We're so happy she's back."

Officials had expressed concern earlier because of the teenager's learning disability.

"She would seek someone out for help. She would say, 'Hey, I am lost, I need help," said her father, Brandon Atkinson.

Earlier, police released a supplemental description of the girl based upon some who last saw her Friday about 3:30 p.m. in her neighborhood.

When news of her being found spread, cheers erupted at the church where volunteers had gathered.

"I'm just so glad she's OK, " said Natalie Cowan, a friend. "I am just really happy." Atkinson's friends were too young to search for her so they distributed fliers throughout the neighborhood.

"I was dying," said Casie Harwood, frustrated at her inability to search.

An Amber Alert was issued this afternoon for the teenager, who disappeared after the school day ended at Alta High School.

Police said Atkinson had written a letter to her father saying she wanted to go to the high school football game between Alta and Hunter, but it's unclear whether she made it to the game.

The Utah Attorney General's Child Abduction Response Team sent in a hundred members to assist in the investigation into the disappearance.

A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter conducted a reconnaissance flight, searching the mountain ridgelines for her.

"Three divers from our dive team were heading out there to check some ponds in the area. They're just going to do a routine check," said DPS spokesman Jesse Valenzuela.

Information about Atkinson's disappearance was broadcast over radio, TV, commuter bulletin boards, Web sites, cell phones and other wireless devices.


E-mail: lwilde@desnews.com; bwinslow@desnews.com