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Palm Beach County student disappeared with aspiring rapper she met on Instagram Live, sheriff says

Mia Brailford, 16, located Monday afternoon in Alabama; suspect in custody
Mia Brailford, 16.jpg
Posted at 5:28 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 12:12:52-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Authorities said a South Florida teenager who disappeared during a JROTC field trip to Georgia ran off with an aspiring rapper.

Upson County, Georgia, Sheriff Dan Kilgore said Monday that Mia Brailford, 16, was found about 4 p.m. Monday in Phenix City, Alabama with 27-year-old Jontai Kahri Austin.

Brailford met Austin through an Instagram Live music collaboration, according to the sheriff's office.

Authorities said the teen vanished Saturday night during a trip to the Gerald Lawhorn Scouting Base in Molena, Georgia.

Kilgore said Austin was apprehended at the location where Brailford was found and is expected to face a felony charge of interstate interference with child custody.

Brailford is an 11th-grade student at Atlantic Community Senior High School in Delray Beach.

"The Palm Beach County School Board, Superintendent Mike Burke and the entire district wish to commend and thank Sheriff Kilgore, and all who participated, for their tremendous assistance in locating Mia and bringing this situation to a peaceful conclusion," the School District of Palm Beach County said in a news release.

Kilgore said the FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation were able to locate Brailford through analysis of historic cellphone data.