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OHIO WANTS RUNAWAY CASE THERE

Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland says the case of a Muslim girl who ran away to Florida after converting to Christianity should by handled by Ohio authorities.

Strickland spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said Friday that the state has no reason to believe that Rifqa Bary would be unsafe in Ohio. Wurst says Strickland believes the case belongs in Ohio because it is a family matter that can be handled by the state's child welfare and foster care system.

A Florida judge is deciding whether the girl, 17, in foster care in Florida, should be returned to Ohio. The girl ran away from her parents' Columbus home in July, saying she feared being killed for changing religions.

An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found no evidence to support the girl's claim.

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