With tears of joy and relief, Eddie Mercer hugged his daughter, 24-year-old Caressa Mercer.
Mercer, who has the mentality of a 5 year old according to her family, left her home on West New Hampshire in DeLand around 6:30 a.m. New Years Day. Her father said it is because he got into an argument with her last night, and she thought he was still mad at her.
"I couldn't believe it. I felt so awful," said Eddie Mercer.
For several hours, he and the family searched the area, aided by deputies who spread out with patrol cars, K-9 units, and a helicopter. Neighbors like Lavanda Pasley received a reverse 911 call and she came out to help look for Mercer.
After Orlando television stations, including FOX 35, aired Mercer's picture and story, someone near a church in DeLand called deputies, saying they spotted her at the Interfaith Soup Kitchen having a meal.
Her father says he feels so lucky and blessed. "This is like winning the lottery twenty times."