(Ladysmith RCMP)

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.

“Typically, you will note that we do not mention the missing person’s name in our news release for privacy reasons, however this case was highly publicized and the public had major concerns for her well-being,” said Corporal Alex Berube with BC RCMP.

MacDonald was reported missing on March 17th after RCMP conducted a well-being check, as requested by the Ministry of Child and Family Development.

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.

On Thursday, March 31st, RCMP held a press conference addressing 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 confirmed those online comments were simply “not true.”

RCMP acknowledged the public, including media outlets, for assisting in the process of locating MacDonald, highlighting that everyone who participated “played a major role in the successful and positive outcome of this investigation.”

RCMP say no further information will be shared as to where or how she was found, stating that officers will leave it to the family if they chose to publicly speak on the matter.

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