ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A Pennsylvania teenager missing for almost two weeks along with the 45-year-old man who often signed her out of school without her parents ‘ permission was returned home and the man was in custody after the two were found in Mexico, authorities said.
The federal agents and Mexican authorities found 16-year-old Amy Yu and Kevin Esterly in Playa del Carmen on Saturday and they were flown to Miami, authorities said. The police said the girl, who was in good health, arrived on Sunday in Philadelphia, and was taken home to Allentown, 60 miles (97 km) northwest of the city. Esterly was awaiting processing in Miami. The married father of four will be faced with a charge of the custody of children interference when he arrives in Pennsylvania.
The mother of the girl, Miu Luu, told The (Allentown) Morning Call that she was crying of relief after being told that the couple had located.
“For two weeks, I had trouble sleeping and eating,” Luu told the newspaper. “I am very happy.”
She was missing since 5 March, when the local police said that they bought one-way tickets from Philadelphia to Dallas, and then headed to Cancun. The police said that they believed that the teen went willingly with Esterly, who signed her out of school 10 times in the last few months. The girl had changed her student records list Esterly as her stepfather, said Gary Hammer of the Colonial Regional Police Department. The mexican authorities issued an Amber Alert in the case on Thursday.
Amy’s family previously said that the two met in church years ago, and the 16-year-old girl is friends with one of Esterly daughters. Esterly wife, Stacy Esterly, said through her lawyer that she and her husband have been fighting constantly since the summer about his relationship with Amy, The Morning Call said.
Her lawyer, John Waldron, told the newspaper that his client was “happy and relieved” to learn that the girl and her husband was found.
“They want Amy home with her mother, that is what she always wanted,” Waldron said. “She is glad that Amy is safe and Kevin is with the government.”
Information from: The Morning Call, http://www.mcall.com