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Missing St. Paul teenager contacts family; police continue to look for her

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A 16-year-old St. Paul girl who has been missing for more than two weeks has made contact with her family and is safe, according to family members, but police say they are still trying to locate her.

A message posted Tuesday evening on the Help Find Alex Facebook page said Alexandra Rodriguez has been in touch with her family, and while she is not back home with them, she is in a safe place.

"THANK YOU!!! Whether you said a prayer, searched, hung a flier or shared one of our posts on Facebook....YOU made a difference!! ALEX HAS MADE CONTACT AND IS SAFE!! We are forever grateful for each and everyone of you!!!!! Thank you!!! We love you Alex!!"

Rodriguez was last seen leaving her home in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood on May 30 with the family's dog, a miniature schnauzer named Pepper. St. Paul police issued a public appeal for help in finding her last week, even though they didn't believe there was any suspicious activity connected to her disappearance.

The search for Rodriguez got a major nationwide boost when cable TV host Nancy Grace highlighted the case on her HLN program on June 11.

Rodriguez's great-aunt, Maria Rios, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press the Spanish-speaking community made a big push to hand out fliers and make radio announcements Tuesday, which probably led someone to encourage Rodriguez to get in touch with her family.

Rodriguez told her family she was staying nearby but didn't give any other details, Rios told the Pioneer Press. She added that they now have a phone number where they can reach the teenager and "work out" whatever problems she was having.

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