BRANDON, Fla. - UPDATE (Thursday 11 a.m.) - The alert for the missing 11-year-old girl from Hillsborough County has been canceled after authorities were able to locate her.
Jenna Irmler, 11, was found in Pasco County Thursday. It is currently unclear how she got there. She will be reunited with her family and will be interviewed by detectives.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the girl was seen by a convenience store clerk in Pasco County. They also say the child did leave on her own and was avoiding being found.
Sheriff: She is just 11. What could start out as a runaway could have turned out much worse. https://t.co/Zh6fsCKNoJ— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@FOX13News) February 16, 2017
Hundreds of community members joined in the search efforts, but it was a sighting in another county that led to her discovery.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said a citizen saw Jenna at a Pasco County Circle K store and notified law enforcement.
A store employee at the Circle K, located on Paul Buchman Highway in Zephyrhills, told FOX 13 that she saw the girl walk into the store and immediately recognized her. That's when she called authorities.
When deputies finally located Jenna, she was almost 30 miles away from her Brandon home.
Deputies say they don't know how Jenna traveled that distance. They will be conducting interviews to find out if she walked the entire way, or had help.
Investigators believe she ran away from home and intentionally avoided law enforcement.
Sheriff David Gee said that when deputies finally located her, it seemed Jenna "was not ready to be found."
Deputies spent the last day combing through the woods, looking for Jenna from the ground and from the air. Neighbors, friends and even strangers joined the search.
Detectives also checked in with known sexual offenders and predators within a five-mile radius but that did not turn up any leads.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will continue to investigate
ORIGINAL STORY - Deputies in Hillsborough County are asking for the public's help finding a girl who left home last night and has not been seen since.
According to HCSO, 11-year-old Jenna Irmler was last seen around 9 p.m. at her home on Centerbrook Drive in Brandon. She was discovered missing around 5 a.m. today.
The view from SkyFOX showed investigators at the home and yellow crime scene tape across the driveway.
Jenna has Asperger's syndrome and deputies are asking anyone with information to call the sheriff's office at 813-247-8200.