Thursday afternoon, Brittney Schie and her cousins, Emily and Hannah Watkins, came home to tears of relief and gratitude.
Sunday night, Brittney spent the night in Cairo at the home of her Aunt Melissa Watkins. Watkins called Brittney's mother the next day to say she didn't have enough gas to bring the girl home.
"Ms. Schie said she would come to her house to pick up the child. When she arrived at her house, the child, along with Ms. Watkins and Ms. Watkins' two children were missing," says Jimmie Scarbrough, Chief Investigator, Grady County.
After three days of frantic searching, Melissa Watkins again called her sister, this time to tell her she was coming home. The girls' ordeal ended here at the Grady County jail when Melissa Watkins was booked shortly after 12:30 Thursday afternoon.
Officers say Watkins told them she had been kidnapped, but the girls told a different story.
"It was found out through Brittney Schie, the oldest girl, that they had been living out of the car," says Scarbrough.
Family members say they don't know why Watkins did what she did.
"She should have called somebody, she knows the numbers! There's no excuse and she deserves what she's getting," says Brittany’s brother, Russell Schie.
But above all, they look forward to returning to a normal life. Melissa Watkins is in the Grady County Jail, charged with interference with child custody.
Brittney Schie is back home in Thomas County, and her cousins are home with their father in Cairo.