Chesterton police said two teenagers who went missing last week have been located in Florida.

Local authorities are working with police in Tallahassee to reunite Aiden Moran, 16, of Hammond, and Madeline Paugh, 15, of Chesterton, with their families.

The pair ran away last week and had not been in contact with their families since Dec. 5, police said.

Family members said they were concerned about the children's safety and pleaded for them to come home or at least send a message.

Madeline's mother, Rachael Paugh, of Chesterton, said she had been trying to spread awareness for people to be on the lookout. 

Melissa Long, Aiden Moran's mother, said she hoped her message would reach the children.

"Aiden Moran, I love you so much," she said. "I just finished making the slippers you wanted. I miss you. Gizmo and Ziggy are waiting on your bed for you. I can only eat or cook things you like. You'll always be my baby, and I'm trying everything to find you. You are a piece of my heart walking around outside of my body. Even if you don't want to come home, please at least let me know you are safe somehow. I keep thinking about our old matching shoes 'same like mommy,' and the stick and the star store, and Lego Land, random trips to Chicago, chaperoning your field trips with classes of annoying kids, April fool's salt, spiders on my pillow, roasting each other with that sense of humor I'm taking credit for teaching you and so much more, but always love even though I was mad at you.

"Madeline Paugh, your family misses that beautiful face," Long continued. "Your sweet personality. Your baby brother needs you. Your mom loves you more than you will ever understand. I miss you and our talks. Your mom can say so much more but in the time I've known you, adorable and gentle are the things I most remember."


Breaking News/Crime Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts, investigative news and more. She is a Region native and graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology.