VENETA, Ore. (AP) -- A girl missing for 15 years was reunited with her family after she wandered into a sheriff's office, authorities said.
Fallon Marie Hodges, 18, allegedly vanished with her baby sitter in 1985, but the disappearance was not reported at the time, the Medford Mail Tribune and Portland's KOIN-TV reported Monday.
Police said Fallon had been living with a couple who left her in Lovelock, Nev., about 90 miles northeast of Reno, telling her they would contact her once they were safely away and tell her about her true identity.
Hodges waited for a month before contacting Nevada authorities, telling them she didn't know her real name -- but that it might be Fallon. She said she never attended school or visited a doctor.
Investigators checked birth records and found a Fallon Marie Hodges who was born in Eugene on Oct. 17, 1982. From there, they linked the girl to her mother, Eveleen Strempel of Veneta. The two were reunited Sunday.
"I was just jumping up and down screaming and crying and laughing all at the same time," Strempel told KOIN. "It was the best news I'd had in a long time."
Persian County Sheriff Ron Skinner said it wasn't clear whether Hodges had been abducted or abandoned.
"The girl seemed to be happy," Skinner said. "We're calling it a successful recovery of a missing child."
Strempel said she had left little Fallon and her twin brother, Dustin, with her baby sitter while she sorted out her financial problems. She returned for Dustin, and said she would be back soon for Fallon. But the sitter and the girl were gone when she returned.
Police said Fallon had been living in Washington with the baby sitter and a man.
The FBI is trying to determine whether a crime had been committed.
"At this point, we really don't know what we have," said Mike Morrow, an FBI agent in Eugene.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.