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Autistic teen found safe in Haysville after 12 hours

Authorities are looking for Gabrielle “Nikkie” Stoll, 13, who was last seen Wednesday night.
Authorities are looking for Gabrielle “Nikkie” Stoll, 13, who was last seen Wednesday night. Courtesy of Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office

A teenage girl who went missing after a church function in Haysville on Wednesday night was found safe, authorities said.

Gabrielle “Nikkie” Stoll, 13, was found shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday in a shed just east of Prairie Trail Cowboy Church, 8552 S. Broadway, Sedgwick County sheriff’s Lt. Lin Dehning said.

Nikkie, who is autistic, was missing for more than 12 hours after running into the woods near the church, authorities said.

“In speaking with the pastor, they had checked that shed several times through the night and she wasn’t in there,” Dehning said.

At some point, however, she had made her way to the shed without being noticed.

“She is fine,” Dehning said. He said the girl was with her father.

It wasn’t uncommon for Nikkie to play cat-and-mouse with her mother after youth teen nights at the Haysville church.

“She doesn’t like to get in the truck,” Pastor Chris Bray said of Nikkie.

Nikkie was being more stubborn than usual Wednesday night – so much so that they finally called 911 for help, Bray said. But before Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputies could arrive, Nikkie ran off between buildings onto the property and into the woods near the church.

Law enforcement officers and church members spent the night searching for her, persisting even as heavy rain fell at times.

“We were out here all night,” Bray said. “It was pretty intense.”

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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