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Lakeland 17-year-old missing since December 8 found safe

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Posted at 6:01 AM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 09:42:52-05

UPDATE — The Lakeland Police Department said 17-year-old Mercedes McLeod has been found safe.


ORIGINAL STORY — The Lakeland Police Department is asking the public for help finding a missing 17-year-old girl who was last seen on December 8.

Police said Mercedes McLeod was last seen leaving her home on Crawford Street at 5:40 a.m. According to police, McLeod didn't go to school that day but did pick up a paycheck at her job in Lakeland.

Authorities believe McLeod may be in the Tampa or Plant City area.

She is 5’ 3”, weighs approximately 120 pounds and recently changed her hair to a shorter style that's red/orange in color. She was last seen wearing a gray sweater and gray sweatpants.

If anyone has information on Mercedes’ location, please contact Detective Ali at (863) 834-8974 or charlene.ali@lakelandgov.net. Tipsters can also call the emergency dispatch team at 863-834-6966. That line is answered 24/7.