16-year-old Pennsylvania girl who went missing nearly two weeks ago has been found in Mexico and returned home, while the 45-year-old man she was with — the dad of her best friend — is in custody, authorities said.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with help from Mexican authorities,tracked down Kevin Esterly and teenager Amy Yu in the resort town of Playa del Carmen on Saturday morning, according to the Allentown Morning Call.
Ms Yu has returned home, while Mr Esterly is in custody.
Mr Esterly, Ms Yu’s best friend’s father who frequently signed her out of school, is being held in Miami and faces charges of interference with the custody of a child, authorities said.
The two reportedly began a romantic relationship several months ago and planned their escape to Mexico to be together.
Ms Yu’s mother, Miu Luu, cried with relief when she got the news her daughter had been found.
“For two weeks, I’ve had trouble sleeping and eating,” Luu told the newspaper.
Ms Luu filed a missing person’s report with Allentown police March 5, the day her daughter took off to Mexico with Mr Esterly.
The teen’s mother apparently didn’t know the full extent of the illicit relationship, but Ms Esterly’s wife reportedly got wind of it weeks before the pair ran off.
Lawyer John Waldron said when Stacey Esterly became aware her husband had been signing Ms Yu out from school, their family fights began to escalate.
Mr Esterly was so obsessed with Ms Yu, he rented a second apartment four blocks away from her family home, according to court records obtained by the Morning Call.
“He couldn’t help himself, he couldn’t stop,” Mr Waldron remarked.
Mr Waldron said Mrs Esterly was relieved authorities had picked up the pair.
“She’s very happy and relieved. She wants Amy home with her mum, that is what she has always wanted. She is glad that Amy is safe and that Kevin is with authorities.”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and has been republished with permission.