Betty Taylor: Missing girl, 12, found safe when police arrest 23-year-old man on kidnapping charges

A 12-year-old girl missing in Arizona has been found alive and safe in South Carolina.

Betty Sue Taylor was found 2,000 miles away on Hilton Head Island ten days after she was reported missing in Arizona on March 20.

A 23-year-old suspect, Timothy M. Schultheis, has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and detention center meddling, according to a statement from the Graham County Sheriff’s Office.

“Betty Taylor was found with him and is now safe,” the statement said.

Mr. Schultheis, of South Carolina, was located with help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is awaiting extradition to Arizona, the sheriff’s office said.

The pair were spotted using location tracking technology, Graham County Deputy Sheriff Jeff McCormies told the local newspaper The Copper Age.

Authorities make arrangements to reunite Betty with her family. The statewide search was launched after Betty never returned from a Sunday morning walk near Safford, about a three-hour drive southeast of Phoenix.

Betty Taylor and suspect Timothy Schultheis

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The family began searching for Betty when she failed to return home around 6 p.m. that evening, and officially reported her missing at 8 p.m. two hours later, according to a statement from the Graham County Sheriff’s Office.

Betty had moved from Kansas to her father Justin Taylor near the base of Mount Graham and the Pinaleño Mountains in Arizona in the summer of 2021.

Mom Bonnie Jones, who traveled from Kansas to join the search, told ABC 15 News that Betty loved the area and lived with the family but wasn’t so happy with her new school.

“She hated school so much that she became physically ill because going to school had stressed her out so much,” Ms Jones said.

She added that Betty kept in touch with strangers unknown to the family through multiple social media accounts.

“And she kept promising that she would get rid of them and I checked her last Facebook and she hid her friends except for mutual friends,” Ms Jones said.

Betty attended Safford Middle School, according to one of the multiple Facebook accounts she kept under her name.

Betty’s uncle Danny Taylor told that he lives with Betty and that the disappearance was out of character.

He told the outlet before it was found that they didn’t feel she was still in the area.

“She went for a walk on Sunday and we all sat there. It was a beautiful day outside, a sunny Sunday morning, and she said she was going for a walk and never came home,” he said.

“It’s a huge area. It’s not a safe area to walk in… But we don’t feel like she’s here. We hope she’s still in Arizona, but honestly we don’t know anything. That’s the hard part.”

Betty reportedly had just a couple of water bottles in her backpack when she set out for her walk in the rocky desert region of southeastern Arizona in late March.

Graham County authorities were joined by hundreds of volunteers coordinated by local couple James and Rachel Shotts.

They told ABC15 that the search is being conducted on foot, 4x4s, dogs, horses, drones and a helicopter.

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