Ladysmith RCMP have located 13-year-old Payton MacDonald safe and sound after turning to the public for help Thursday amid a missing person investigation.
Weeks later, the search for a missing Vancouver Island teen continues and now, police are appealing to the public for help in finding her.
Ladysmith’s Payton MacDonald, 13, was reported missing on March 17th after RCMP conducted a well-being check, as requested by the Ministry of Child and Family Development.
However, Payton was not found.
Her father, who has full custody, was subsequently arrested for breaching a court order and for refusing to disclose her whereabouts, as ordered by Family Courts.
He was later released on bail but was arrested again just days later, where he remains in custody with a date in court on April 5th, according to RCMP.
A Thursday, March 31st, press conference saw investigators address the media, saying they believe Payton is with someone known to her father.
And despite speculation on social media that she may be away at camp for spring break, RCMP confirms these online comments are simply “not true.”
“What we also know is that there is a 13-year-old girl who is still missing, and there are many people who are worried about her safety,” said Vancouver Island RCMP General Investigation Section Staff Sgt. Darrell Sandback.
Payton was last seen with her father at the foot of Ladysmith’s Harbour View Road on the morning of March 15th, RCMP say. The pair had been living in a sailboat in Ladysmith.
Described as Caucasian, Payton stands at 5’6″ and weighs around 130 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.
Currently, RCMP say the investigation remains “very active.” They’re asking anyone with information about Payton’s whereabouts to call their local police detachment or Ladysmith RCMP at (250) 245-2215.