Runaway Gardnerville sisters found safe

Two teenage Gardnerville Ranchos sisters who ran away from home on Aug. 16 were found today in Winnemucca.

Amy Meeks said her daughters, Charlotte, 15, and Emily 13, were picked up in Winnemucca by a youth pastor from Carson Valley Christian and his father.

"They're found! Yay!" Meeks said in a telephone message.

She said the girls apparently left Las Vegas two days ago after they got rides to Winnemucca.

Meeks said she wanted to thank the community for all their help since the ordeal began.

"We are so appreciative for all the help everybody gave us," Meeks said. "We couldn't have done it without all the help. We just want to say thank you."

The girls sneaked out of their home about 11:30 p.m. Aug. 16 and accepted a ride to Manteca, Calif., from 40-year-old Jeffery Alan Palmer of Gardnerville.

Palmer was arrested early Aug. 18 when officers found him, the girls and 16-year-old Christopher Leyva at a Manteca, Calif., motel.

Meeks said Emily met Leyva a month ago when she was visiting a family friend in Manteca and wanted to see him again.

He is in custody in San Joaquin County Jail on $120,000 bail charged with felony child abduction and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He is to appear in court Friday.

The girls were taken to a safe house in Stockton but ran away before their parents arrived.

Meeks and her husband headed to Las Vegas to look for the girls and Leyva, and the sisters turned up in Winnemucca today.


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