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NEW CASTLE Missing girl, 13, found in Texas



Published: Sat, June 16, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



She had been last seen April 26 in San Antonio, Texas.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A missing 13-year-old New Castle girl has been found by authorities in Seguin, Texas.Amanda Sluder is expected to be returned to the area sometime next week, police said.

The details of her whereabouts since her April 20 disappearance were not available Friday.

New Castle police said deputy sheriffs in Seguin either found her or she was brought to them June 6. She is in the custody of Children and Youth Services in Texas.

The 13-year-old Neal Street girl was last seen April 26 in a San Antonio apartment complex where her mother, Stephanie Atchley, was living.

Atchley, 27, was arrested April 27 on two charges each here of interference of custody of children and concealment of the whereabouts of a child for Amanda and her 11-month-old brother, Brandon.

Brandon, who was with Atchley when she was arrested in San Antonio, was taken by police and later returned to his father, Don Sluder. Sluder, who was not married to Atchley, has custody of both children.

Hearing postponed: Atchley was recently extradited from Texas to Lawrence County. On Friday, she was set to appear for a preliminary hearing before District Justice Melissa Amodie about Amanda's disappearance. The hearing has been postponed until next Friday to allow for Amanda to return to New Castle.

Another preliminary hearing on Brandon's disappearance is set for 9 a.m. Thursday before District Justice David Rishel in Shenango Township, Lawrence County.

Disappearances: Brandon and Atchley disappeared in March from the Super 8 Motel where she was working. Sluder said he left Brandon with Atchley for an overnight visit and when he returned the next day both were gone. Amanda remained with her father until April 20 when she also turned up missing.

Sluder said he came home from working a midnight shift and found pillows stacked under her covers to make it appear she had been in bed.

She left a note saying she was running way with her friends, but Sluder said he believed she left home to be with her mother.

cioffi@vindy.com




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