Two Limestone County teenage girls who staged their abduction Saturday morning probably won’t know what they’ve put their parents through until they are parents themselves.

For now, they know they evoked the consternation of Limestone County Sheriff’s officials and their parents, and they have been ordered to report to juvenile authorities.

The father of one girl and the mother of the other girl returned to the woman’s home on Hickory Hill Lane north of Alabama 251 after 2 a.m. Saturday to find the front door open, the house ransacked and furniture turned over and the girls missing, said Limestone County Sheriff’s Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.

“They suspected the worst — that someone broke in and took the children — so they reported it,” he said.

Deputies responded, including Investigator Brad Curnutt and McNatt, who began trying to piece together the girls’ disappearance.

“We look around and, after several hours and talking to neighbors and friends, we determine that the girls had talked at school about running away,” McNatt said.

After a seven or eight-hour search, the two friends were found in Copperfield Subdivision, which is located off U.S. 72 East near the county line. The girls had called friends to come pick them up.

“They had just been walking the neighborhood while we searched for them,” McNatt said. “They had indeed run away and wanted to make it look like someone had taken them instead of it just looking like they had run away. They scratched their arms and cut up their clothes to make it look like they had escaped from their kidnapper.”

Because they are juveniles, the girls were released to the custody of their parents but were referred to juvenile authorities.

“We gave them a harsh talking to and made juvenile authorities aware of what they had done and the steps they had taken,” McNatt said.

Authorities did not issue an Amber Alert, a nationwide notification by law-enforcement that children are missing, because officials determined the girls had likely run away.

“At the outset we had to treat it as if something bad had happened,” McNatt said. “The more we got into the investigation the more it seemed they had run away.”

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