Police looking for missing 16-year-old who sent cryptic text
South Carolina police are searching for a 16-year-old girl who went missing after allegedly sending her friends a cryptic text message they assumed as a joke.
Marley Spindler was last seen by friends on the morning of Thursday, August 20 leaving a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Myrtle Beach on what was supposed to be her first day of school.
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According to numerous reports, she texted her friends to say someone was following her. But investigators don't believe that text was a sign of trouble after examining her phone, which was discovered in a hotel parking lot.
She was also seen on surveillance video withdrawing money from a bank in different clothes than she was reported wearing.
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Police believe because she was alone in the footage and went into the bank without alerting anyone that she is not in any danger or the victim of a crime.
"She walked into the bank, it's not like she used an ATM machine, so she could have said, 'Hey I'm in trouble' or 'Help me'," Lt. Raul Denis of the Horry County Police Department said. "There's no reason to believe anything's going on right now other than she's missing for whatever reason. We're not clear whether she's choosing to be missing or whether there is some circumstance that we don't know about but we don't believe there's any foul play going on and we don't believe she's in any particular danger either."
"She's 16, she's very young and maybe she didn't intend to get in a bad situation, but may find herself in one now," Spindler's aunt, Shelley Long, told NBC News. "If you see this we don't care what you've done and you aren't in trouble. We just want you home safe."
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Investigators say she has a boyfriend in western North Carolina who she may be traveling to see.
Anyone with information on where she might be is asked to contact Horry County Police.