UPDATE: Missing Waseca child located safe

Missing Child Found: Investigation Begins

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UPDATE: The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has canceled their missing person alert for Madilynn Stencel, age 7.

The BCA said that she has been located and is safe.

According Waseca Police Dept. Capt. Kris Markeson, police received a call from Stencel’s family on Monday night just before 7 p.m. that they could not find her around 2nd Street Northwest.

Officers entered Stencel as a missing person and then alerted Waseca County residents using a Code Red Alert just after 8:15 p.m.

Shortly after issuing that alert, law enforcement conducted a grid search, and urged members of the public to check their security camera footage for any signs of the 7-year-old.

From there, hundreds of people from all around southeast Minn. took their flashlights and set out to find her.

“I went out and searched because of my motherly instinct. I would want anybody helping and to be out their searching if it were my kid,” said Evelyn Miller, a mom living in Waseca. “I was just thinking it is cold out there, she is lonely, probably scared and alone.”

Capt. Markeson says dozens of law enforcement agencies pitched in people and equipment, including air support, dogs, drones and boats to bring the girl home safely.

“I had a couple people explain it that it looked like Halloween times 100. Just so many people out in the streets with vehicle traffic,” said Capt. Markeson. “I also had other people describe some streets saying it looked like there was a parade going on because there were so many vehicles traveling up and down the streets looking. In the end, we’re just so happy that she was found safely.”

Many homes in the community also left their porch lights on in case Stencel walked by, some even leaving out blankets and food in case she was cold or hungry.

“This is what it is like living in a small town, everyone rallies together in a time of crisis,” said Miller. “I am proud to be a resident of Waseca.”

Around 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday, after approximately six hours of being missing, Madilynn Stencel was found.

The Waseca Police Dept. is thanking everyone in the community and surrounding area who helped out to bring her home.

The alert was canceled at approximately 1:20 a.m. on Tuesday.

There is no more information being released about where Stencel was for those six hours or how she was found.

Previous story

(ABC 6 News) – The Waseca Police Department announced they are trying to locate a missing child.

Madilynn, 7, was last seen before 7 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2023, according to WPD. She was running away from her family at the 600 Block of 2nd Street Northwest near the Waseca Mayo Hospital.

Waseca Police identified Madilynn stands approximately 3’8″ and about 53 pounds. She was last seen wearing a light gray tank top, light Capri pants and shorts with flowers over the top, according to police. She also had her hair in a ponytail.

The Waseca Police began conducting grid searches of northwest Waseca earlier Monday evening.

If you see Madilynn or know where she is, please dial 911 right away.

You can also call the Waseca Police Department at (507) 835-0500.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is now involved in the investigation.

This is a developing story. Stay with ABC 6 News for more updates as they become available.