MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A Wisconsin woman who was a teenager when she disappeared nine years ago has been located in Mexico, living there with her husband and three children, police said on Thursday.
Connie McCallister was 16 when she disappeared in 2004. She called her mother a few days later but refused to say where she was.
McCallister, now 25, recently told police that she was drugged at a party and her boyfriend took her to Mexico against her will.
Once in Mexico, McCallister said their relationship turned abusive, according to Judy Weise, a family friend. She later married another man.
“She has wanted to come home ever since, but it’s a very impoverished area and she didn’t have any idea where to start,” Weise said.
McCallister’s plight came to light in September when she met a missionary in Mexico. It’s not clear if the missionary recognized her or if she asked for help.
The missionary later contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and police in Wausau, Wisconsin, which covers Athens where her family lived when she disappeared.
Police contacted McCallister through Skype in September. McCallister said she wished to return to the United States, but needed identification for her three children, police said.
The Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens is planning a fundraiser to help her return to Wisconsin.
Wausau police contacted the FBI regarding the case. Police said McCallister has filed paperwork for her and her three children to return to the United States and said she hopes her husband will be able to follow.
The U.S. embassy is aware of her case, but she has asked them not to comment due to privacy concerns.
Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Lisa Shumaker