Two teen-age Union County girls who walked away from their school Tuesday afternoon instead of boarding a bus for home were found Wednesday morning and are OK.
They were tired, hungry and frightened, according to Marshville police Chief Carl Webber, who said the girls were found walking along railroad tracks.
"They were found in Peachland, several miles away," Webber said. "But they're OK. That's the good news."
The girls, ages 14 and 15, normally board a bus when leaving East Union Middle School. However, they reportedly got in some sort of trouble at school earlier Tuesday and decided not to go home.
That set off a widespread search across eastern Union and western Anson counties. That search continued through the night. Webber said East Union Middle Principal Kenneth Hoover spent the night at the school, in case the girls returned.
Webber said police got a break when the girls sent a text message to a friend in Georgia, telling them where they were. He said that teen's parents contacted Marshville police, who then began searching the area along the tracks Wednesday morning.
"Fortunately, the girls did not make the mistake of accepting a ride from someone," Webber said.
The girls' names were not released, by request of their parents.