Missing Teen Found Safe in South Carolina

A Clarkesville teenager, missing for almost a week, was found safe Wednesday morning near the Georgia-South Carolina line.

Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell tells WCHM that 17-year-old Nicholas House had been sleeping in a tent near the Westminster area after being dropped off by a family member.

“According to the aunt she took him and dropped him off on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere,” Terrell said. “He had made threats of being suicidal and stuff so she picks him and drops him off in the middle of the woods so that makes a lot of sense.”

As a direct result of her involvement, 35-year-old Dixie Styles faces charges of one count of obstruction and one count of interference with custody. She lives in South Carolina and will be extradited back to Georgia, according to Terrell.

Additionally, the teen’s grandmother, 73-year-old Dixie Ray, will also be charged after she provided some information to authorities but then refused to cooperate.

The actions of these two individuals were in direct conflict with the wishes of the person having legal custody of Nicholas,” reads a post on the Habersham County Sheriff’s Facebook page.

House was reunited with his mother, his legal guardian, early on Wednesday morning as authorities say she picked him up from South Carolina and traveled back to Georgia where they met with Habersham County Sheriff’s deputies. The Oconee Co., SC Sheriff’s Office assisted in locating House.

“A lot of this boils down to COVID and being away from his friends and not being able to go back to school,” Terrell explained. “They really need their friends and that would have helped the situation a whole bunch.”

House is a senior at Habersham Central High School where he was enrolled in online classes. However, he will return to school in-person tomorrow after talking with Habersham County Lieutenant Murray Kogod, who knew House previously from his time as a School Resource Officer.

“Murray made some phone calls and got him back in school,” Terrell said. “He made him (House) a promise that he was going to graduate and get his diploma where he could move on and not just be stuck out there.”