PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Port St. Lucie police said a teenage girl reported missing Monday had a plan to skip school, despite saying she was being followed.
Police said there is no evidence she was being followed and there is not a threat to the community.
The man who found her is a member of the Guardian Angels and said his organization is getting calls from all over the country with praise.
It didn't take bloodhounds or a chopper to find the missing girl. Michael Lincoln-McCreight found her walking and encouraged her to stop and talk before calling police.
He also spent hours looking for her.
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For about 10 years, he's been a member of the Guardian Angels' Treasure Coast chapter.
His commander and chapter leader, Ned Childress, gave him the green light to help in the search,
"For some reason, I had a gut feeling Michael's going to hit the gold on this one," Childress said.
The Guardian Angels have chapters all over the country and worldwide.
Their main mission is safety patrol, walking unarmed through crime heavy areas to deter crime, while wearing their token red berets and white T-shirts. They are trained in areas like CPR and conflict resolution.
"We're a big deterrent for a lot of situations that go on," Childress said. "When we're around, stuff doesn't happen."
In this case, they can also use their boots on the ground to help law enforcement find runaways.
"We're extra eyes and ears for law enforcement," Childress said. "You know, law enforcement have their hands full. They have so much to do."
Childress said their chapter has found a handful of runaways. In the last several years, they found two separate runaways in West Palm Beach.
"We were at the mall in West Palm Beach and heard about this young kid running away and we actually went to the mall and spotted him," Childress said. "We called the police department and they came and picked him up."
Childress said they've also found a runaway in Fort Pierce and the latest in Port St. Lucie.
Lincholn-McCreight said they've also assisted in two other runaway cases where they did not find the runaway, but lent their support.
They pass out fliers, go to gas stations, convenience stores, neighborhoods and restaurants.
Lincoln-McCreight has long been passionate about law enforcement, security and just helping people. He is also an advocate for laws to help people with special needs and intellectual disabilities.
"I believe if you have two legs and two hands you should not sit around and do nothing," he said. "You should get off your butt and make yourself useful."
Childress said he has treated Lincoln-McCreight to a well-earned dinner for his hard work.
The Guardian Angels said they are always looking for and recruiting new members.