Teen daughter who went missing near Lake City found safe after father’s 3-day search

File photo of Columbia County Sheriff's Office SUV (Courtesy of Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – A 17-year-old girl who was last seen on Tuesday night on southeast Woodhaven Street near Country Club Road in Lake City was found on Sunday.

Her sudden disappearance was difficult for her father Juan Martinez to digest.

“I feel dead…I can’t eat…I can’t sleep. I’m just thinking does she have somewhere to stay?” Juan Martinez told News4JAX before she was found safe.

The girl lives in Fort Myers about four hours from Lake City where his daughter lives with her mom.

He spent his free time posting flyers around hoping someone will spot his daughter and bring her home.

“I don’t why I feel like she’s somewhere. I feel like she’s at a house or something. She’s been all over the news she’s been all over social media and nobody has seen her,” he said.

A Florida Missing Child’s alert was issued Friday.

It was under investigation by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Juan Martinez says his daughter’s mom worked an overnight shift the night she went missing.

He says the next morning when her mom got home from work, she went to her room to check on her and she wasn’t there.

“No clothes were missing. Her phone was charging, her wallet, her ID, the money she had was there in her purse. She didn’t leave a note that she was running away,” Juan Martinez added.

He said he just wants to let her know that she is not in any trouble.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.