SAN FRANCISCO — A 12-year-old Chinese girl missing for two days was found safe with relatives on the East Coast early Saturday after disappearing from her youth tour group, authorities said.
A tip provided to the FBI and forwarded to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s department led investigators to Yukun Jia around 9 a.m., sheriff’s spokeswoman Bronwyn Hogan said.
“She is safe with relatives, and in good spirits,” said Hogan who would not release the city in which Jia was found to protect the girl’s privacy and security.
FBI spokesman Andrew Black confirmed Jia was safe and said foul play was not suspected.
Hogan said Jia’s relatives met her at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday and they flew east together. Adult leaders of the youth group had told investigators Jia signed a document claiming she had no relatives in the United States.
Hogan said she was not sure why Jia abruptly disappeared from her fellow travelers or whether the girl hoped to defect from China, an angle investigators had pursued. Hogan referred other inquiries about the case to State Department officials who did not immediately return a call Saturday.
Jia vanished after going through customs at the airport on Thursday afternoon. She arrived from Beijing with nearly 30 Chinese youths for an overnight layover en route to space camp in Alabama.