UPDATED: 14-year-old girl found after being reported missing

Published 11:18 am Thursday, March 25, 2021

UPDATE: The Rowan Sheriff’s Office says Aleah Paige Gaultney has been located in Anderson, South Carolina, at her aunt’s residence. Her mother is on the way to pick her up. The stolen vehicle in this incident has still not been located, and the investigation into the incident will continue.

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a 14-year-old girl after she was reported missing and allegedly stole a neighbor’s vehicle.

Aleah Paige Gaultney is described as being 5 feet 4 inches, 155 pounds and having blonde hair and blue eyes. Gaultney was reported missing from her home on Happy Hollow Road Sunday when her mother discovered the girl wasn’t in her bedroom at 7 a.m. The Sheriff’s Office said she left a note saying she intended to visit someone in Florida.

On the same day Gaultney left, a neighbor on Happy Hollow Road found his 2007 white, four-door Ford Fusion missing. The vehicle has a North Carolina license plate of ZTY1012. Gaultney said in her note to tell the neighbor “sorry for stealing,” according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

“It is unknown if Aleah acted alone in taking the vehicle or if she may have had assistance, as her mother advises that Aleah did not know how to operate a vehicle very well,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Happy Hollow Road is located off of Happy Lake Road and N.C. 152, between China Grove and Rockwell.

Anyone with information about Gaultney’s location should contact Detective Patrick Schmeltzer at 704-216-8702, 1st. Sgt. Oliver Greene at 704-216-8686, 1st. Lt. Rodney Mahaley at 704-216-8711 or Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.