Missing Spalding teen Aubrey Carroll returns home

aubrey carroll

Aubrey Carroll, a teen missing from Spalding County since May 2016, has returned home. On Tuesday, Carroll met with Lt. Mike Morris, left, and Sheriff Darrell Dix. Dix described stories of Carroll’s travels as “absolutely amazing.”


Aubrey Jayce Carroll, the Spalding County teen missing since May 2016, has been located and chose to return to his Georgia home.

According to a press release issued by Sheriff Darrell Dix, a joint effort of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Texas Rangers led to the discovery of information that allowed the cooperating agencies to track possible locations where Carroll had been over the past almost two years.

“Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, FBI, and Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office met with Carroll’s parents on April 10, 2018 at Spalding SO and briefed them about the progress of the investigation, and where we were at now. During the briefing we showed them pictures of Aubrey and shared with them a Facebook page that he had launched under an assumed identity. We also found out that over the time since Aubrey left he had no less than five personal contacts with law enforcement agencies ranging from Alabama to Arizona under his assumed identity,” Dix said as he described Carroll’s time away from Georgia. “He travelled extensively on the west coast and mid-west. During this time, he became a part of a group of people who live by bartering, operating with cash only, and travelling from state to state. They basically looked like a group of people from the Woodstock era in their clothing and life style.”

Dix said upon gathering this information, he and other officials met with Carroll’s parents to determine the best course of action to take.

“After meeting with his parents and considering all options, it was determined to not reach out to him and wait until he had another law enforcement encounter. He had a support group that he was with and all indications were that he was happy and was thriving. He did not appear to be in any danger. We felt that if we reached out to him too soon he would disappear again, lose what support he had, and the search would have to start all over again, more than likely under a new alias,” Dix said. “It was determined by all that this would be the safest course of action since we were so close.”

After leaving home, Carroll turned 17, which qualified him as an adult under Georgia law. This left law enforcement officials with no legal recourse to compel him to return home.

“Since Carroll was now 17, he was no longer a juvenile and in consulting with the FBI and District Attorney’s Office, it was determined that there was no lawful way to force him to come back to Georgia,” Dix said. “We made preparations to leave Spalding County immediately if he had an encounter with officers in another state that would detain him until we could go to him and question him. At this point we were about 99 percent sure where he was and who he was with, the main point is that he was alive.”

Although Carroll’s parents agreed not to make contact with their son, another family member did reach out to the teen.

“After the briefing information was released to other family members by family members who had been briefed. One of those family members went out on a limb and sent Aubrey a message and Aubrey responded. That family member explained what was happening and was able to convince Aubrey to call his mother. Aubrey called his mother and told her that he was ready to come home; however there were certain conditions that he wanted in place such as who he would talk to and where he would go when he got home. Aubrey’s mother reached out to me and told me that she had been contacted and that he was on the way home from out of state. Aubrey’s mom relayed messages from me to him assuring him that he would not be arrested and that he could live as he wanted. These messages occurred over several days, and we allowed Aubrey to pick a location where he felt safe,” Dix said. “Last night I received a call that Aubrey was with his mom and was safe. He agreed to meet with me and Lt. Mike Morris so we could question him about why and how he disappeared, and basic questions about his wellbeing and safety. We met with Aubrey this morning and he is happy, healthy and fine. He told us that he left on his own, and had not been abducted, hurt, abused, exploited, or harmed in any way. He did ask that information about the circumstances surrounding this case be kept private. I can add that there is no indication that he was aided or helped by anyone in this area. All indications are that he did this on his own.”

Dix described Carroll’s stories of his time away from home as amazing and expressed gratitude that the young man is well.

“We sat for quite a bit of time with him and listened to his story. His tale was absolutely amazing. He has seen and done things that make your jaw drop. These things and places line up with the information we had and things just fell in to place,” Dix said. “How the story ended doesn’t matter, who gets credit doesn’t matter. Aubrey’s family, supported by friends and the tenacity of the investigators working on this case saw this through to the end. What matters is that he is safe, healthy and unharmed. “In speaking with Aubrey and his mom, they both want to send the message that if you have a missing loved one to not give up hope. Keep praying, keep looking, and keep your faith. Miracles happen.”


  1. Peggi Payton says:

    There is an error in your story. How could they have met on May 10, 2018 if it is only April 17, 2018?

    • Unfortunately, that is an error in the press release issued by the Sheriff’s Office, and it is within a direct quote. Therefore, I cannot change it without speaking to Sheriff Dix. I attempted to call him,,but given the lateness of the hour, I was unable to reach him. I’ll attempt to make contact and correct this in the morning.

      • Then add the words [sic] next to the date so we know that it was a direct quote and not a transcription error.

      • Yes, that would have been ideal, but to be honest, by that point in my day, I was too exhausted to be overly concerned to whom the error was attributed. I merely responded to two comments that didn’t require me to climb out of bed and plug up my laptop. It will be corrected this morning.

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