In May 2016, This Teen Vanished After Leaving Her House. Then Her Parents Found Her Shocking Diary. Now, More Than One Year Later, They Have Received Unbelievable News
A North Carolina teen who was reported missing by her family more than one year ago has been found alive in Georgia.
According to PEOPLE, 17-year-old Hailey Burns was recovered by FBI agents in Duluth after the agency received several reports that she was living in the Atlanta area.
Burns disappeared in May 2016 when she was last seen walking out of her family’s Ballantyne home.
“My wife opened the door and she was not there. You can’t understand how it feels until you you’re in it,” Burns’ father explained last year.
According to Fox5, after Burns vanished, neither her family nor her friends ever heard from her again.
At the time of her disappearance, Burns’ family told investigators that they had found her diary, which contained plenty of information about a man the then-16-year-old had met online.
Police say Burns had made plans to run away with this mystery man, but her family had no idea what was going on until she left.
“We had tried to eliminate all social media from our home. Telephones, computers... and she still found ways around it. She would use friends' smart phones or the school library computer,” Burns’ father said last year.
“He might not be 32, he may be 55 and running a human trafficking organization, there’s no telling. You don’t know who you’re talking to online. It’s not safe,” he added at the time.
According to WRAL, in addition to recovering Burns, investigators have arrested 31-year-old Michael Ren Wysolovski.
“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,” Burns’ father told WBTV.
According to the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department records, Wysolovski has been charged with aggravated sodomy, cruelty to children and deprivation, interference with custody, and false imprisonment in connection to Burns’ disappearance.
Wysolovski’s neighbors have since expressed shock and outrage over the pair’s relationship, which they always perceived to be normal.
“It makes me sick to my stomach, actually that someone could do that," said Jennifer Elmore, who lives next door to Wysolovski’s home.
“This is Duluth. I mean, nothing bad—you never hear about anything bad happening, but I guess things can happen anywhere and it's—I don't know—it's surreal. I don't really know how to feel about it, except I'm glad that she's safe now," said Jennifer Cabrera, another neighbor.
After everything that has happened, Burns’ family is just relieved that their daughter, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome before vanishing, is finally home safe.
"We found my starlight and after a brief hospital stay she will return to her home," one family member wrote on Facebook. "It is a blessing from God. Please pray for our family."
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