The parents of a Charlotte teenager who disappeared more than a year ago and was found safe and returned home over the weekend are thanking authorities and calling her return a “miracle.”
The girl, now 17 years old, was located in a home in Duluth, Georgia on Saturday after a Facebook tip led authorities to her. The teen, who has been diagnosed with a form of autism, went missing from her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, in May of last year, according to her parents.
Her father called the reunion “a miracle” and told ABC affiliate WSOC that he hoped his family’s story would give hope to others who are dealing with a missing a loved one.
“Families need to know don’t give up no matter how much time passes,” her father told WSOC on Monday. “There is hope that you just have to keep believing that the one lead will come.”
Her mother said that the teen was doing well but that her ordeal had taken a toll.
“There are changes in my daughter. She is not the same person that left and that is the hardest part of this,” her mother told WSOC Monday, adding that her daughter seems exhausted and has lost between 15 and 20 pounds.
Police rescued the teenager after she contacted a woman online and told her that she was being held against her will, according to police. The teen sent the woman pictures of the home where she was being held and police said they used that to help track her.
“I got a message that said, ‘I’ve been in communication with your daughter and she’s alive and she wants to come home,’ and from there it has been like an avalanche,” the teen’s mother told WSOC on Monday.
Authorities have arrested 31-year-old Michael Ren Wysolovski. He has been charged with aggravated sodomy, cruelty to children, deprivation in the first degree, interference with custody and false imprisonment after police said he met the girl online and held her captive in his home.
Wysolovski made his first court appearance in Georgia on Monday. Wysolovski’s…