clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Missing teenager safe in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The three-week search for a convicted murderer and a missing 14-year-old ended 2,000 miles from the girl's home when someone recognized the man's truck.

Police arrested Terry Drake, 56. The girl, Lindsey Ryan, appeared to be in good condition, said CHP Commissioner D.O. Helmick. Her hair had been dyed black.

"It is a horrible situation that has a happy ending. You are looking at some very happy parents today," said the girl's father, Patrick Ryan.

The teenager left her house in Jones, Mich. — a small town near the Indiana state line — on March 1 to meet Drake. Police say they met at church and had corresponded by e-mail.

Michigan, Indiana and California issued AMBER Alert warnings seeking tips on Lindsey's whereabouts. The pair were also featured recently on the "America's Most Wanted" television program.

A delivery truck driver recognized Drake's truck in a gas station parking lot about 70 miles northwest of Reno, Nev. The white truck had been painted black but still had the same Indiana plates, California authorities said.

When police pulled over the truck, Drake put up no resistance and "told me I had the guy they were looking for," said California Highway Patrol Officer Greg Transue, who stopped the vehicle northwest of Reno.

Police said they found three guns inside and two more at the remote campsite where the pair apparently spent much of their time.

The girl and Drake told police they'd been camping out around mountains near Susanville, about 75 miles northwest of Reno.

Drake spent 16 years in prison for killing a woman from the Evansville, Ind., area in 1977.