Runaway Teens Could Face Numerous Charges

Villa Rica, GA -- Three teenagers on the run since leaving the Willowbrooke behavioral facility in Villa Rica last Monday likely face a number of charges locally and possibly in Florida, where all three were eventually located this week.

“Last Monday—around midnight, the girls got out of Willowbrooke by stealing one of the nurses’ key. One of the girls snatched it off the nurse’s uniform and used it to get out. All three were acting together so all will be charged with the theft of that key,” VRPD Captain Keith Shaddix told WLBB Radio Monday. “All three have been charged as runaways. Through our investigation we learned the three left Villa Rica and stole a truck from a resident in Carroll County. They drove that truck to Panama City.”

Police in Panama City are reportedly investigating whether the teens had anything to do with a number of hit and run incidents in the area.

One accident with the truck has been confirmed and it appears to be what brought the girls’ location to the attention of investigators.

“At one point, (the oldest girl, 17-year old) Samantha Abbott was behind the truck and another of the girls was driving. The truck backed up and hit Abbott causing a minor injury to her leg and she went to the hospital Saturday night,” Shaddix said. “Her parents were contacted to approve treatment and that’s how hospital staff learned that she was a runaway.”

Shaddix says the two juvenile girls were arrested Sunday evening in an unrelated incident where authorities learned they were runaways.

Investigators believe at this time that the teens acted on their own.

They believe the girls were able to keep their stolen vehicle fueled by accepting money from strangers. “They were able to get money for gas thanks to the kindness of others along the way,” Shaddix said.

The 15 and 16 year old girls will likely be charged as juveniles and 17-year old Samantha Noelle Abbott from Dallas will likely be charged as an adult.
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