Brittany Collins was reported missing Monday morning by her family and Villa Rica police spent the ensuing day following tips as to her whereabouts that took them as far away as LaGrange. Despite social media rumors that she may have been the victim of a kidnapping, police officers determined they were looking for a runaway due to a note Collins left behind.
“We take these cases very seriously,” Villa Rica police Capt. Keith Shaddix said. “We lose a lot of sleep over this stuff.”
According to Shaddix, a 911 operator received a call Wednesday night from someone claiming to be a relative of the girl who told them that law enforcement officers could find Collins at the home of another relative on Daniel Road in the unincorporated part of Carroll County, just outside of Villa Rica.
Before deputies arrived, another relative called police and said Collins was at a motel in Douglasville.
She was eventually found at the Daniel Road home.
“She claims that she walked to the V-Plex (on Highway 61) the night she ran away and ended up laying down inside the restroom at the V-Plex and then when it was daylight Monday morning she was afraid she’d get picked up walking so she stayed at the V-Plex for three days,” Shaddix said.
Collins is being charged by police as an unruly juvenile and as a runaway.
“The girl’s safe and unharmed and that’s what’s important,” Shaddix said. “We’re still looking into some things, but we’ll probably never know the truth about how she spent those three days.”
Villa Rica police spent 37 man-hours on the case with several officers and detectives contributing to that total. But Shaddix said the number of hours spent looking for Collins is irrelevant as long as she was found unharmed.
“There’s nothing good that can happen to a juvenile who’s out there on their own,” he said.
“They don’t have the skills or the means to sustain themselves. Juveniles end up turning to somebody for help and what happens is you’ve got two types of people — those who will do the right thing by returning the juvenile to authorities or those who help hide them and then take advantage of them. A lot of runways turn into abductions later down the road because of people who take advantage of them.”