Missing teen Kathryn Stalbaum found alive in Chicago

Shannon Sims and Steve Chamraz

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Missing teen Kathryn Stalbaum found alive in Chicago

By Shannon Sims and Steve Chamraz. CREATED Nov 8, 2013 - UPDATED: Nov 8, 2013

WAUKESHA CO. - A four-day search for a missing Genesee girl ended with 15-year-old Kathryn Stalbaum being found alive 100 miles from her home. 

Late Friday evening, detectives announced Kathryn had been located in Chicago.

"She approached a Chicago police officer and asked for help," said Inspector Eric Severson of the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

The late-breaking development was the news Severson said his detectives, and her family, had been hoping to hear.

"She appears to be in good physical condition. Her family has been notified and she has had an opportunity to speak with her parents," Severson added. "They are elated that Kathryn is safe."

How the 15-year-old managed to get to Chicago and why she was there is still a mystery. A team of detectives, victim's advocates, and FBI agents will meet with her in Chicago.

"Our next step is to get answers and get her reunited with her family," said Severson.

Severson noted that while this case ended with Kathryn's safe return, people should remain mindful of the other children out there that are still missing.

"This story has a really happy ending, and it gives a lot of hope to other parents who are going through this that don't have a quick solution as we did for Kathryn."

Stalbaum went missing Tuesday morning after texting her friend that she had missed the bus and would be riding her bicycle to school, but she never arrived. The school called her parents at home saying she hadn't showed up, but they did not get the message until they got home from work. The search for the 15-year-old began at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, nearly 12 hours after she was last seen.

James Kust contributed to this report.