Missing 13-year-old Tuscaloosa girl found safe; placed in temporary custody of family, friends

Tuscaloosa Police Department
Tuscaloosa Police Department

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – Tuscaloosa police say 13-year-old Destiny Schaetzle has been found safe.

Tuscaloosa police spokesman Sgt. Brent Blankley says Schaetzle was found walking near New Watermelon Road near an old church just after 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. Blankley says two citizens stopped her and stayed by her side until officers arrived on the scene.

She was transported to DCH Medical Center to be examined and was admitted for overnight observation, Blankley says.

Investigators determined the living conditions of Schaetzle and her older sister were unsafe, and both will be temporarily in the custody of family and friends. Blankley says the temporary custody will operate in compliance with a safety plan that has been implemented until Monday morning.

The Tuscaloosa Police Department will then meet with the Department of Human Resources to discuss their concerns and determine the future of Destiny and her older sister, who are adopted and not the biological children of their parents.

Blankley says investigators learned Schaetzle was at a friend’s home for some of the time she was missing.

Schaetzle had last been seen on Sunday at her home in the North Park neighborhood of Tuscaloosa. Investigators had searched for much of Thursday following up on three possible sightings.

A friend of the family stopped by the family’s home while the family was not there and left a short while later.

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