An American student in Romania helped save a missing North Carolina teen after meeting her online.
Earlier this week, law enforcement officials say they found the 17-year-old girl living in a Georgia home after she was reported missing more than one year ago.
The woman in Romania—who WSOC reported was an American student studying abroad—befriended the teen while she was being held captive. The teen then told her online friend that she was considered missing before sending her a photo that was taken out the window. The woman then notified her parents within hours of the teen taking the photo, and investigators found her that same day.
“She is insanely brave for the fact that she trusted me with the information that she did,” Maisey Baker, the student, told WSOC, detailing what happened.
“I had Hailey give me some memories that only her family knew and I read those to her mother. They knew that was her,” she added.
“There are changes in my daughter,” mother Shaunna Burns said of her daughter after she returned home, WOSC reported. “She is not the same person that left, and that is the hardest part of this.”
The teen—said to have Asperger’s Syndrome—was reported missing on May 23, 2016, after walking out of her Ballantyne, North Carolina, home without telling anyone. Her family alleged that she had run away with a man she met online.
“He gradually wormed his way into her good graces, he coerced her into listening to him and not following our directions and the next thing I knew my daughter wasn’t communicating with me,” her father told WBTV.
According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, which detailed the girl’s yearlong ordeal, she was denied food by Wysolovski. She was forced to keep a journal that detailed how many calories she’d eaten that day. Reports say she lost between 10 and 20 pounds and appeared to be exhausted when she was returned home.
A neighbor of the suspect said he was shocked the teen was being held captive because she once waved hello outside, WSB-TV reported.
The person said, “I thought nobody was living there actually because everything was closed up, the drapes, the blinds,”
“‘We know that this happy ending is not the norm, it is the exception to the rule.”
‘We want people to know that there are happy endings to this kind of a story. It was a dream come true.”