Kimberly Piccolo, reported missing on Thursday after a search that began Sunday failed to find her, was found Thursday night in Bangor. Contributed photo

A missing Connecticut woman is safe and sound and on her way back to her home state after being found late last night in Bangor, according to her mother.

Police and others had been searching for Kimberly Piccolo, 31, since she was last seen Sunday night in a parked car outside a small market in Clinton. She was officially reported missing by police on Thursday. It is unknown what compelled her to drive to Maine.

Piccolo’s mother, Barbara Piccolo, said just before 9:30 a.m. Friday that Kimberly was found in her car in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Bangor between 11:15 and 11:30 p.m. Thursday and she is OK.

“We picked her up this morning and we’re going home,” an elated Barbara Piccolo said. “Thank God for Facebook because we had lead after lead after lead, and every lead we got, we’d call police stations. Everybody’s so amazing. It’s been unbelievable. Maine is a fantastic state.”

Barbara Piccolo told the Morning Sentinel Thursday while her daughter was still missing that the family had no idea why Piccolo would drive more than 300 miles from her home in Connecticut to Clinton. She said they had talked to her daughter’s friends and could not identify anyone she would have driven up to Maine to see.

Barbara Piccolo had described her daughter as a “very professional, brilliant young lady,” an educated person who usually kept everything together. But her daughter’s behavior was unusual last week, she said. Kimberly Piccolo had been staying at her mother’s for the previous three days and had been acting “paranoid” lately. While Kimberly suffered anxiety in the past that she had taken medication for, Barbara Piccolo said that anxiety was nothing compared to the way her daughter had been acting.

On Friday morning, Barbara Piccolo said she still does not know why Kimberly headed to Maine.

“She just got in the car and drove,” she said.

She said she planned to take her daughter to a doctor once they arrived home in Connecticut.

The leads the family received on Facebook after media picked up the story of Kimberly’s disappearance were key in finding her, according to her mother.

“There was a AAA driver who texted my (other daughter) on Facebook and said he’d given her (Kimberly) gas at L.L. Bean Wednesday,” she said.

Another person reported having seen Kimberly Piccolo at a diner, Barbara Piccolo said.

“Every time we got a post we called police departments,” she said.

A message left Friday morning for a lieutenant at Bangor Police Department seeking comment was not immediately returned.

According to a post on the Clinton Police department’s Facebook page, Kimberly Piccolo was discovered sleeping in her car at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Tradewinds Market on Hinckley Road in that town. An officer and rescue workers spoke with Piccolo, who reportedly said that she had fallen asleep and was waiting for friends to pick her up. She appeared to be in good condition and refused medical care. There was no probable cause to make her go for a medical evaluation, authorities said at the time.

Piccolo’s mother said she arrived in Portland around 2 p.m. Thursday, and she and family members were searching for Kimberly.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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Twitter: @AmyCalder17