Amber Alert Cancelled
Law officers searched for Smith after her grandmother reported someone took her from the grandmother's front porch early Friday morning in northern Boone County.
But, the sheriff's department said Smith just drove off, without her family's knowledge, with Joseph Brett, 17, a friend from Sturgeon.
Brett's mother recognized Smith on a TV report about the Amber Alert and called Brett on his cell phone. He told his mother Smith was with him.
Boone County deputies took Smith to the sheriff's department, interviewed her, then released her to her parents. Deputies also released Brett after telling him he may be charged later.
The sheriff's department doesn't want people to think it's crying wolf, despite three recent false Amber Alerts.
"We're going to err on the side of caution," said Maj. Tom Reddin. "We are talking about children, obviously an extremely precious resource."
Added Sgt. Michael Stubbs, "As far as people becoming numb to that, don't do that. It's [the system] working."
So far this year, Missouri law officers have issued six Amber Alerts.