DENTON COUNTY -- A teen missing for more than a week has been found safe.
Dallas police Major Max Geron said Alejandra Gonzalez, 18, was located Thursday around 11:30 a.m. in the backyard of a Denton County home.
Geron said a resident in the 800 block of Orchid Lane called the Denton County Sheriff's Office to report a suspicious person standing in their backyard. When deputies arrived, they discovered it was Gonzalez.
Paramedics gave the 18-year-old a precautionary exam and said despite being hungry, she appeared to by physically fine, considering the circumstances.
Wearing a black hoodie and keeping her head down, Gonzalez was helped into a police cruiser outside the Denton County Sheriff's Office about two hours after she was found.
“She didn’t say much,” said Denton County Sheriff William Travis. “She was very quiet.”
The Sunset High School senior left school in Dallas around 1:30 p.m. on April 23. She was spotted by a Denton County deputy a week later on Wednesday, April 30, wandering around Chin Chapel Road and Blackjack Road in Copper Canyon.
At the time, the deputy didn't recognize her. He later saw a missing persons report from Dallas, and officials were sent to the area to search for Gonzalez.
The teen's family says she has the mental capacity of a six or seven-year-old. Denton County Sheriff's Department Deputy Chief Rex George said Gonzalez has a history of disappearing and they believed she could have been using mass transit.
They also said she was wearing clothes different from those she was wearing when she left school.
Gonzalez was brought back to Dallas Police Headquarters, where she'll undergo a follow-up interview to determine where she has been and what's happened to her since she went missing.
The girl's family had been critical of police for not responding fast enough, but Thursday, her mother thanked the media and police agencies involved for helping in the search for Alejandra.
Carlos Quintanilla was the family’s spokesperson during a news conference held at Dallas police headquarters.
“She’s not here to blame anyone,” Quintanilla said. “She is very happy that her daughter is safe.”
The girl's sister, Jimena, said the first thing she was going to do when she saw Alejandra was give her a hug.
“Thank you for everything you have done and I’m thankful that they found her,” she said.