Missing teen located safe

The 17-year-old who went missing from his job late Saturday night in Desha was picked up by officers from the Independence County Sheriff’s Department early Tuesday evening in the Lock 2 area of the White River.

WhiteRiverNow.com reports Sheriff Shawn Stephens said Wednesday morning Bradley Smith had apparently been staying in the woods on the Locust Grove side of the river.

Stephens said his department had conducted several interviews in the process of locating Smith, noting they had received information he might be in that area.

A deputy stopped a vehicle driven by an acquaintance of Smith’s coming out of the area with the missing teen as a passenger. The sheriff said they had traced the use of Smith’s debit card and suspected he had withdrawn an amount of cash to purchase some supplies.

As for a reason for the disappearance, Sheriff Stephens noted the young man said he didn’t want to be ordered around, but “wanted to be his own man.” He also told authorities he had “walked away from his job site.”

The sheriff said Smith was taken home to his older brother and legal guardian.

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