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Teen Challenge boys escaped and now returned

Two juveniles who reside at Prayer Mountain Teen Challenge in Meansville have been returned after leaving the premises Wednesday. The youths were reported missing around 5:30 p.m. Pike County deputies heavily patrolled the area looking for them. A lookout was also issued to surrounding counties, according to investigator David Neal. They were found by 9 p.m. in Upson County and brought to Pike by Upson County deputies. They were returned to Teen Challenge, Neal said. ”They just ran away and were picked up,” he said. The juveniles were from out of state, he added. Teen Challenge won its nearly three year battle to operate a boarding facility, school and ministry for troubled teen boys in Pike County and was granted a special expception at the Jan. 27 meeting. The facility is on a 36-acre property on Highway 19, formerly the location of The Church at Grace Hill. The land is also part of what is called Prayer Mountain. Approval came with stipulations. Teen Challenge Prayer Mountain Boys Academy shall accept boys ages 13-18 only, and no student over 18 shall be allowed to reside there. Additionally, if any student is convicted of committing bodily harm on any citizen of Pike County while enrolled or in residence at the academy, commissioners may reconsider the special exception allowing its operation as per the zoning ordinance criteria.

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