A HILLSTON mum has had an emotional reunion with her daughter after the 12-year-old sparked a massive manhunt when she vanished from the family home at the weekend.
Jannine Kay awoke on Sunday morning to find her daughter Maggie had disappeared without a trace, making a frantic call to police to help locate her.
The year 7 Hillston Central School student had not taken her phone, money or food and had made no contact with family or friends.
Officers from Griffith, Darlington Point and Hillston scoured the area amid reported sightings of Maggie on the Kidman Way and in Merriwagga.
An urgent media alert was also sent to news outlets across the state.
Just before 1am - almost 17 hours after being reported missing - Maggie was located safe and well at Darlington Point.
A relieved Mrs Kay said it had been a harrowing ordeal.
“It was pretty horrific and when police called late on Sunday night and began asking for photos of her, I started to full-on worry,” Mrs Kay said.
“I’m just so relieved to have her back.”
She said Maggie had simply decided to walk to Darlington Point – almost 150km away.
“We were driving back from a trip away on Saturday and Maggie had just asked, theoretically we thought, how long it would take to walk from Hillston to the Point,” Mrs Kay said.
“She likes to go for walks but we never thought she would actually attempt to do it.”
Maggie was taken to Griffith Base Hospital for an evaluation and later released.
“I didn’t know whether to hug her or kill her when I first saw her,” Mrs Kay said.
The mum of five thanked police for assisting in the search.