Missing 11-year-old North Carolina girl found safe

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Emily Dowdle

UPDATE: The missing 11-year-old Catawba County girl has been found safe. She walked out of the woods behind her home Wednesday night, officials said.

A spokesperson for the FBI said shortly before 10 p.m. that Emily Dowdle was "located within the last half hour in a wooded area near her home."

"She is safe, will be checked out by medics," the spokesperson said. "Our thanks go out to hundreds of law enforcement, fire fighters, and other first responders."

Additional details will be released most likely Thursday morning, the spokesperson added.

ORIGINAL STORY: Deputies are searching for an 11-year-old girl who vanished after getting off her school bus Tuesday afternoon.

WSOC-TV reports Emily Dowdle attends Catawba Elementary School and is 4 feet 11 inches tall, has long, light-brown hair, hazel eyes and wears black-framed glasses.

She was last seen wearing a pink shirt and capri jeans.

Officials said she got off a Catawba County school bus around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The bus driver saw her walk toward the back of her home, which is normal, according to police.

When Emily's mother got home about 15 minutes later, she couldn't find her daughter. After a quick search of the area, she called police.

Emergency crews have set up a command center at the school as they search for the girl.
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