After an overnight police search that included blood hounds, K-9 units and helicopters hovering above Laurel, Scotchtown Hills Elementary student Jeanne Bioj, 9, was found safe inside her school early Wednesday morning.
The fourth-grader had apparently slipped inside a door at the school Tuesday night, before custodians had set door and motion alarms, and spent the night in the building, said Laurel city spokesman Pete Piringer.
Laurel Police detectives found Bioj in the school cafeteria around 7:30 a.m Wednesday when they arrived to meet with school administrators. Piringer said the girl had locked herself in a bathroom adjacent to a locker room, and was sitting by herself in the cafeteria when detectives found her.
She was last seen in the late afternoon, early evening by friends, and the police search began around 10 p.m.
The helicopter support came from Howard County Police, and the blood hounds did find a track in the Millbrook area, where the girl lives with her family, near Scotchtown Hills Elementary, Piringer said. A dive team and Chesapeake Search and Rescue were set to be deployed Wednesday morning after the overnight search failed to find the girl, but were called off.
"She found a place that was safe and secure, and spent night in the school building," Piringer said.
Piringer said it was not known why the girl slept at the school or if there were any family issues that might have triggered her disappearance. The city contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but the search did not meet criteria for an Amber Alert, he said.