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UPDATE: Missing Columbia couple found by police

Thursday, August 9, 2012 | 6:28 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Columbia police located a couple Thursday afternoon that had been reported missing by friends on Monday.

The pair, Jennifer Topper, 22, and Zachery Howard, 23, were found in an apartment in central Columbia. Police received a tip from a source regarding Topper's car, Sgt. Jill Schlude said.

Schlude described the reason for the couple's whereabouts as "a personal matter."

Both were unaware they were reported missing, investigators said. No further investigation is planned.

Friends said they had not heard from Topper since July 26. Howard last spoke to family on Aug. 3.

Kiristie Squires and Nicole Seamon, friends of Topper's, reported the couple missing. Squires and Seamon aided search efforts using Facebook and Twitter. Along with a team of friends, the duo passed out pictures of the couple and missing-person fliers on the streets of Columbia on Tuesday night.

When contacted Thursday afternoon, Squires said she was unaware that Topper and Howard had been found.

"I can't really explain my reaction; I'm relieved but still worried," Squires said.

Supervising editor is Dan Burley.


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