After going missing for two weeks, a 16-year-old girl from Allentown, Pennsylvania who flew to Mexico with a 45-year-old Caucasian male has reportedly been located by authorities.
According to ABC News, married man Kevin Esterly and teenager Amy Yu were found in Mexico on Saturday night, two days after the Mexican government issued an Amber Alert for the pair. Esterly was arrested while Yu will soon be reunited with her mom in Allentown.
Yu was discovered by her mom, Miu Luu, to be in a secret relationship with Esterly after she had vanished on March 5.
The teenager was last seen by her younger brother, John Yu, running off after their mom dropped them off at a school bus stop.
Luu reported her missing to the Allentown Police Department the night she failed to return home.
It was believed that Yu had willingly traveled with Esterly on a one-way flight from Dallas, Texas to Cancun, Mexico.
Frank Castrovinci, a passenger on a Cancun-bound flight, told CNN he was certain in spotting Esterly and Amy boarding the plane at Philadelphia International Airport the day the teen went missing.
He reportedly saw a young Asian girl with “very long, straight hair” and a man in his 40s with glasses boarding the plane late, both carrying a “backpack or duffle bag kind of thing.” He noticed that the man went around asking other passengers to switch seats so they could sit together.
“My initial thoughts were, here’s a guy who adopted a girl and she looked obviously much younger,” he said. “I thought it was interesting that the mother wasn’t there.”
Through their actions, he figured that they weren’t actually relatives.
“It seemed odd the way she was leaning up against him and how he was rubbing her leg and it seemed like his hand was quivering a little bit,” he was quoted as saying.
Castrovinci was convinced that the young Asian girl and the middle-aged man he would later see on the local TV news upon his return as the pair he saw on the plane.
Soon after they were found in Mexico, Allentown police released a statement confirming Amy Yu was “unharmed and in good health.”
— Alerta AMBER México (@AAMBER_mx) March 16, 2018
“I’m really happy. Please let everyone know,” Luu was quoted as saying, a day after she made a heartfelt plea to her daughter to come back home.
Esterly, who claimed to be her stepfather so he could sign the teen out of the school is now facing a felony charge of custodial interference. It was found that the suspect had withdrawn $4,000 from his wife’s bank account before their Mexico trip.
An extradition process will reportedly commence upon Esterly’s arrival in Miami.