Madison Bell, a Highland County teen who went missing in May, spoke out on social media after her disappearance, saying it was her choice to leave.
Bell, 18, went missing after she told her mother she was leaving to go to a tanning salon on Sunday, May 17 and had not been since since. She was found on Saturday, May 23. She said on an Instagram Live video that she left with an outfit, an ID, her social security card and $50.
Bell said that she left her family and a live-in boyfriend to start a new life in another state. She was found with a man who was considered a person of interest in her disappearance. Her parents, she said, forced her into the relationship with her boyfriend.
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“I did not want that relationship at all, it was forced. I remember I told my mom that when I’m 18, I’m not going to date him anymore,” she said.
She said she has not spoken with her mother since she left home.
“I kind of am afraid if they come find me but they can’t do anything because I am 18 – so, it was my choice to leave,” she said.
The high school cheerleader is from Greenfield, which is about 60 miles southeast of Dayton in Highland County.
Hundreds of volunteers and trained experts had searched for Bell, including Rescue 101 Search and Rescue, Texas Equusearch and members of the community.