Missing Flower Mound Officer Found in Florida

Police sergeant found in Lantana, Fla.

A Flower Mound police sergeant, missing since finishing a marathon in San Antonio on Sunday,  was found in good health Wednesday morning in Florida.

Sgt. Jeremy Varnell, 43, has been with the Flower Mound Police Department for 19 years. His family filed a missing person's report after being unable to reach him after last hearing from him on Sunday evening, police said.

In a news conference Wednesday morning, Flower Mound Chief of Police Andy Kancel said Varnell was located at the Florida hotel by a police officer who was on patrol and running the license plates of cars parked at area hotels.

Varnell's plate had been flagged by police in San Antonio as "possibly in danger/attempt to locate," so the officer in Lantana tracked down Varnell, confirmed his identity and his health.

Kancel said after learning Varnell had been found, the first call he made was to Varnell's family to let them know he was OK.

Kancel said he has not yet spoken to Varnell, but looks forward to hearing from the sergeant what has been going on and why he has missed work on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Kancel added that Varnell is not subject to any criminal offenses and is not under any internal affairs investigations, though he may be disciplined for failing to report for duty.  Kancel said the situation is now a personnel matter.

At this time, no explanation has been offered for Varnell's disappearance or how he ended up nearly 1,300 miles away from San Antonio.

"We are extremely happy and blessed that he's OK ... and we look forward to speaking with him," said Kancel.

Police Search for Missing Detective

Capt. Wess Griffin, with the Flower Mound Police Department, said Tuesday that the department sent two detectives to San Antonio to help police with the investigation.

"We are just very concerned for his well-being," Flower Mound police Capt. Wess Griffin said Tuesday evening. "He's a super-loyal employee and a great guy."

Officer Roger Zuniga said there's no sign of criminal activity in the disappearance of Varnell.

Varnell's car -- a 2012 blue Ford Focus -- was also missing. That car has a Texas license plate reading DF1-X970.

Editor's Note: Initially, San Antonio officers had told NBC 5 reporters Varnell was found in Lantana, which was reported to be the master-planned community in Denton County. That report was not accurate and we regret the error.

NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to and earlier version of this report.

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