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Published July 07, 2011, 11:11 AM

Grand Forks Family Finds Missing Girl East of Medora, ND

The Billings County Sheriff’s Office says 13-year-old Samantha Jo Elliott, who went missing during the musical at the Burning Hills Amphitheater in Medora.

By: WDAZ Staff Report,

MEDORA, N.D. – The Billings County Sheriff’s Office says 13-year-old Samantha Jo Elliott, who went missing during the musical at the Burning Hills Amphitheater in Medora at about 9:10 p.m. Wednesday MDT, has been found walking along a roadway east of Medora.

Authorities “are currently determining the circumstances of the incident,” according to a news release received shortly after 9 a.m. from Rick Robinson, planning specialist for the North Dakota Division of Homeland Security.

Billings County Deputy John Tczap said Elliott is from the Fort Collins, Colo., area. She was attending the musical with her brother and grandparents from Dickinson, he said.

Prior to intermission, Elliott informed her family she was going to the restroom, but she didn’t return, Tczap said. Her brother tried to find her but couldn’t, and the family reported her missing to the sheriff’s office at about 10:20 p.m., he said.

The sheriff’s office initially called Elliott’s disappearance “unusual and concerning” but said there was no evidence of an abduction and no description of a vehicle or suspect, and the report didn’t meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.

Elliott does not have a history of running away, Tczap said. Her parents were on their way to North Dakota, he said.

Grand Forks resident Scott Dvorak says he found Elliott walking on the road.

Dvorak said his family noticed the girl at the musical last night and his kids recognized her picture on the news this morning.

They got out of Medora about three miles and noticed a girl walking along the side the road.

He said he immediately recognized her and called police.

Elliott had told Dvorak that she was 18 and needed a ride to another town.

He handed the phone to his wife and continued talking to Elliott until the police arrived. Dvorak says he was just glad to be in the right place at the right time.

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