Missing Ohio Teen Madison Bell Found Safe After Leaving Home in Bid 'To Start a New Life'

Madison Bell

Bell's car was found abandoned with her cell phone and keys inside, prompting a nationwide search.

Madison Bell, an Ohio teenager who went missing May 17, was found safe by authorities over the weekend. The 18-year-old high school senior was reported missing by her mother after she said she left for a tanning salon but did not return. 

A statement released Saturday by Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera did not say where Bell was located, although he reportedly told Fox 8 that upon being found she told authorities she had left voluntarily because she wanted “to start a new life.” 

Bell's disappearance prompted a nationwide search after her cell phone was pinged to a nearby church parking lot, where it was found inside of her abandoned car with the keys still in the ignition. 

Bell's family said in a statement, "We ask that the public and media respect our privacy during this difficult time while we are emotionally raw. We are just relieved to know Maddie is alive and not in physical danger."

They also thanked law enforcement and the community for helping with the search efforts.