Published: 16:28, 12 October 2019
| Updated: 10:36, 13 October 2019
The search for a missing 14-year-old has been successful, with her being returned to her family last night.
Erin Richardson went missing on Wednesday afternoon, when she was last seen walking in Ashford near the sorting office on Tannery Lane at about 5.30pm.
After three days of searching and a couple of unconfirmed sightings, Erin was found yesterday.
A social media status, posted by foster dad Dave Foster-Naisbitt at about 8pm yesterday, reads: "Would just like to say thank you to all the people who had shared the post about Erin and the Police for everything they have done as well.
"And a very big thank you to the person who saw her and followed her while on the phone to the Police. She is safe."
The reunion came after a groundswell of support and many messages offering vigilance.
The effort to find her was widely followed on social media, where her foster parents publicly appealed for her safe return.
Her foster mum, Katy Foster-Naisbitt, wrote an open message on Facebook on Friday as the search entered its second full day.
It reads: "This post is for the adult who ever you may be that is letting Erin stay in your house - Erin hates the cold and wet and can't go a day without food let alone 3 so we know she must be inside and being fed.
"Can you please just contact someone and let them know where she is.
"She may have told you she can't go home because she will be in trouble and she hates where she is or she's a care kid and she needs your help but you're not helping her.
"Look at these pictures all taken in the last six weeks - the horse ones were on Tuesday. Does she look like she doesn't want to be here or like she's not looked after?
"Please just do the right thing and tell someone where she is. Erin if you're reading this that pony needs riding and grooming and you can't do that where you are please just come home."
While the search continued, Mrs Foster-Naisbitt told KentOnline that she was most likely around the Stanhope and Willesborough areas of town.
She said: "She's heavily involved with the homeless community in town - she'll sit and chat with them - and they've been really helpful.
"The last sighting by someone that actually knows her was on Wednesday by the sorting office. We've had two sightings since, saying she was in Tesco Express and on the bandstand but they're not 100% confirmable because they were people who don't know her.
"She missed her curfew at 9pm, I gave it a bit because she's occasionally late but by about 11pm I thought she was really late and I called the police. I couldn't personally go out because I had other children in the house, but her family rallied and started looking."
One post on social media raising awareness has now been shared more than 1,700 times, however Erin is still missing.
Mrs Foster-Naisbitt added: "Thank you for sharing and being vigilant, and thank you to those who have messaged me or called 101.
"Also a big thank you to the homeless community because they are talking to us and telling us where she might and keeping an eye out for her.
More by this authorCharlie Harman