How a Waitress’s Quick Thinking Reunited Missing Girls With Parents

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A pregnant woman in Delaware became a hero to two Maine families after her Facebook search helped find their missing teenage girls.

Lisa Stephenson, a server at the Blue Crab Grill in Newark, Del., became suspicious on Nov. 2 when two teenaged girls walked in and applied for jobs. Both seemed too young to be looking for work, they weren’t in school, and neither included home addresses or cellphone numbers on their job applications.

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“It seemed odd for teen girls not to have cellphones, nowadays,” Stephenson, 26, who is six months pregnant, tells Yahoo Parenting.

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The girls claimed that their phones and money had been stolen in New York, and they had somehow ended up in Delaware.

Stephenson worried what could happen to the girls at the two truck stops or no-questions-asked motels only minutes from the restaurant. “They were in sweats and it looked like they hadn’t touched their hair in a while,” said Stephenson. “I immediately had a feeling they were runaways.”

If her daughter-to-be were ever missing, she thought, she would want someone to help.

That evening after work, Stephenson did a Facebook search for the girls’ names and landed on the page of a 16-year-old girl from Brunswick, Maine. Her mother had posted a missing persons notice about her daughter and a 14-year-old friend from Bath, Maine, who had vanished together on October 25 after failing to show up for a babysitting job.

Stephenson sent the mom a friend request and shared that she had met the girls and then enlisted the help of her cousins — police deputies in a nearby county — who tracked them down after they were seen panhandling in front of a clothing store on Nov. 3. The girls had stolen one of their mother’s cars and had driven “straight through Boston, New York, and some of the most scary places they could have been,” the mom of the older girl told the Bangor Daily News.

On the way home, the trio stopped at the Blue Crab Grill to thank Stephenson, who explained to the girls how close they came to real danger. The teens are now safe at home in Maine (although both are grounded and the older girl is banned from using social media) and Stephenson has been dubbed a hero by the older girl’s mom.

“I don’t feel like a hero,” insists Stephenson. “I just feel like a normal person who needed to speak up and did. Hopefully more people will speak up when something seems off.”

Photo: Courtesy of Lisa Stephenson

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