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Teton County girl abducted east of Victor may have been drugged

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Jul 31 2012 10:27:27 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 31 2012 07:30:02 PM CDT


DRIGGS, Idaho -

A 15-year-old Teton County girl was hospitalized with cuts and bruises Monday night after she was abducted from a field where she was working. 

The Teton County, Idaho, Sheriff's Office said the girl was moving irrigation pipe in a field on East 8500 South sometime between 6 and 7 p.m. The girl's bike and water bottle were found in the field.

"She remembers checking the time when she was about to start another row," said sheriff Tony Liford. "That's kind of the last thing she recalls before she woke up in the foothills."

She called her mother at about 9 p.m., complaining she thought she had been hit over the head and thought she was somewhere in the mountains east of Victor.

Sheriff's deputies, firefighters, search and rescue volunteers and local residents organized a search effort.

"She didn't know where she was at, but she could see Victor," said Jerry Kaufman, one of the about 150 locals who came out in force to search for the girl.

For many of the searchers, the unforgiving landscape is as familiar as their own backyard.

"You know the terrain and you know where the high points are you can see from," said Kaufman.

Using a cell phone, the girl was able to direct rescuers to her location in a remote area of the Game Creek drainage. She was finally located at around 11:30 p.m. and transported to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg for treatment of cuts and bruises.  She was released in good physical condition Tuesday.

Sheriff's office spokesperson Valle Wells said the girl had no memory of what happened to her. Her last memory was working in the field. Wells said that has led authorities to believe she may have been drugged.

On Tuesday afternoon, investigators from the Idaho State Police and Teton County Sheriff's office were going back to the area where searchers found the girl. They planned to use K-9 units to retrace the steps back to where the girl may have woken up. She had stumbled away from that location in order to find cell phone service.

Investigation of the incident is underway.  Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Teton County Sheriff's office at (208) 354-2323.

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