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Ocala police: Missing 18-year-old with special needs found safe

Investigators say missing woman is nonverbal

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Ocala Police Department are searching for a missing 18-year-old woman.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Ocala Police Department are searching for a missing 18-year-old woman. (Ocala Police Department)

OCALA, Fla. – Officers with the Ocala Police Department have found a the 18-year-old woman previously reported missing.

Police said Esmeralda Ruiz was found safe and in good health late Friday night. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office helped with the search. Investigators did not offer any other details.

Esmeralda Ruiz was reported missing when loved ones had not heard from her since 7:20 p.m., that’s when she was last seen by Hillcrest School/YMCA on 17th Street in Ocala. Investigators said she is nonverbal.

Ocala police thanked everyone who assisted in the search and kept an eye out for Ruiz.


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