Missing Indiana 14-year-old Scottie Dean Morris, who was last pictured wearing a T-shirt that said “I’m a liar,” among other phrases, was found safe by police on Friday night.
“We have THE BEST update to give. Scottie has been located and found safe!” the Eaton Police Department said in a Facebook post late Friday. “Medics are checking him out right now and we will be conducting interviews.”
Police released more information on Saturday morning, announcing Morris was found at 10:31 pm by an Eaton Officer at Hartford Street and Harris Street.
The teen was transported to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital ER to be checked out “as a precaution,” police said.
“At this time Scottie has been placed in a safe environment with the assistance of Delaware County CPS. The family is cooperating with every aspect of the investigation,” police announced, adding that interviews would be conducted later on Saturday.
“We would like to thank EVERYONE for all their assistance during the last eight days,” the statement concluded.
Morris was first reported missing on March 16 after last being seen leaving his home on East Indiana Avenue in Eaton, police said in a press release at the time of his disappearance. Eaton is located just over an hour northeast of Indianapolis.
The teen vanished shortly after he was photographed wearing a white T-shirt with bizarre phrases handwritten across the front, including “I’m a liar,” “cheat,” and “I hurt my little brother.”
It is believed that the controversial photo of Morris was taken earlier in the day Thursday, while the teen was “in conflict with adults at his home,” according to a report from the Indianapolis Star.
In the immediate aftermath of Morris’ disappearance, the department was the subject of public backlash and speculation after posting the aforementioned photograph showing Morris looking sullen while wearing a shirt that appeared to be designed to shame and humiliate him.
The department clarified the mishap in a subsequent press release on March 17. Saying it was the “ONLY photo that EPD was given to display” at the time.
“We are very sorry the post seemed as if we were trying to shame him in anyway, as that would NEVER be our intent,” the release states. “When posting Scottie was not in trouble with the department, we meant we were here to help him and it is the intent of every Officer to find him safely. Placing that photo on social media was in no way an attempt to embarrass or humiliate him. Actually, it was displayed as an investigation tool.”
The department later edited the photo and cropped out Morris’ shirt.
In the days since Morris went missing, his mother, Felicia Morris—who police say has been “very cooperative” with the investigation—went on television and gave an impassioned plea for her son to return home, addressing him directly.
“Scott, I love you and I want you to come home,” Ms Morris while sobbing. “I know you are mad and confused and I’m afraid you’re scared with all of this. Everyone is looking out for you, we’re not trying to scare you. You’re not in trouble.”
Law&Crime’s Jerry Lambe contributed to this report.
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