HIGHLAND VILLAGE (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Dallas have confirmed that the teenager who has been missing since Wednesday of last week has been found safe in Denton County. Authorities stated that Alejandra Gonzalez was located hiding behind a home in Copper Canyon on Thursday afternoon.

Gonzalez was first seen by both a Denton County resident and a Denton County Sheriff’s Office deputy on Wednesday night. That began a search for the 18-year-old special needs student from Sunset High School who, family members said, has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old girl.

Authorities in Copper Canyon were called about a suspicious person in the 600 block of Chin Chapel Road. That is where Carmen Craig reported seeing the girl on Wednesday evening. “You could tell she was scared,” Craig said.

A sheriff’s deputy arrived at about 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday and also spoke to the teenager at Pilot Knoll Park. But, at this time, he did not know that she was a missing person. After talking to Craig and looking over his bulletins, they were able to determine that the “suspicious person” was actually Gonzalez.

“She looked like she was a little upset,” said Chief Deputy Rex George. “She made mention that she was actually walking to a house nearby to see a friend, and she was a little bit disheveled looking.”

When the deputy returned to the area to find the teenager again, it was too late. She was already gone. Authorities began searching the area, and stayed there throughout the night, finding nothing until about 11:30 a.m. on Thursday. A resident reported seeing the teen behind a home in the 800 block of Orchard Hill Lane. This is more than 30 miles away from Gonzalez’s home in Dallas.

Law enforcement officials stated that Gonzalez was hungry and thirsty, but otherwise seemed to be fine. Her mother is set to pick her up later on Thursday afternoon.

Gonzalez left school without supervision during lunch last week. The only other possible sighting of her throughout this entire incident was near a DART train station in the West End area of Dallas. Ron Sherwin of the Dallas Police Department’s Youth Services said that Gonzalez likes both trains and airplanes, and had previously been found alone on a DART train in 2011.

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