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Valley News Dispatch

Missing Vandergrift girl, 16, found safe by FBI

Chuck Biedka
| Friday, July 13, 2018, 9:27 p.m.
Lena Dixon, 16, with her mother, Stefanie Grantham, prior to her disappearance.
Lena Dixon, 16, with her mother, Stefanie Grantham, prior to her disappearance.

A missing Vandergrift girl’s mother started driving Friday night to an undisclosed location to reunite with the 16-year-old found by the FBI.

Lena Dixon, the girl who has been missing for weeks, has been found safe, the FBI tweeted after 9 p.m. Friday.

Dixon’s mother, Stefanie Grantham, said she was driving to reunite with her daughter.

“I’m happy and relieved,” she said.

“We were asked to not say where she is until I can get to my daughter,” Grantham told the Tribune-Review from her cell phone in her car.

She said a relative is babysitting her two younger children.

“This is what I have been praying for,” Grantham said.

FBI Pittsburgh spokeswoman Catherine Policicchio said no other details were available Friday night.

Vandergrift police Sgt. Anthony DePanicis said his department and the FBI worked countless hours on the case.

Dixon was last seen about 4 p.m. June 26 when she left her job at McDonald’s restaurant on Hyde Park Road in Allegheny Township. She was at work about 20 minutes but left.

Dixon was last seen voluntarily getting into a white Chrysler 300 with dark tinted windows.

“I am delighted,” DePanicis said. “A lot of missing kids cases don’t turn out this way.

“To know that she is alive and well is an ending that we can’t often celebrate.”

In an interview last week, Grantham said she was calling her daughter’s cellphone at least eight times a day, “especially when I go to bed and when I wake up.”

Grantham said then she and her family had been monitoring her daughter’s phone, Facebook and other social media accounts, but the girl hadn’t been using them

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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