A 15-year-old Michigan girl who ran away with a man more than twice her age has been found alive and relatively unharmed, authorities confirmed late Tuesday evening.
Teen Emily Lalinsky 15, was last seen Sunday and left behind a note saying she was running away with divorced dad Robert Messer, 37.
Plymouth Township officials found them in a field in Northville with superficial, self-inflicted wounds to their wrists, authorities told WXYZ. The two were sent to separate hospitals to be treated for their non-life-threatening injuries.
Lisa Schwartz, Emily's mother, said Messer was a family friend.
For Emily's mother, this has been a deeply traumatic ordeal.
“I trusted him,” the girl's mother Lisa Swhwartz told ABC before her daughter had been found. “My whole family trusted him. My daughter trusted him. Bob was always like a brother to me."
Messer spent a lot of time with the teen, which the mother of six had appreciated.
Messer, a divorced dad, and Lalinsky routinely went hiking together.
“With me having so many kids, I could not just take her and do things with her, so he was like, 'I’ll take her to Ann Arbor, I’ll take her to Botanical Gardens,'" Schwartz told ABC.
In the note, Messer and Lalinsky left specific messages for members of their families: "Try not to be sad and don’t blame yourself," the teen wrote to her mom. "Nothing could be done. I love you.”
Messer picked up Emily on Sunday morning presumably to go hiking, Schwartz told the Detroit Free Press. The pair was later seen at Messer's home, where they left the note. They left all their personal belongings behind.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is kidnapping,” Lisa Schwartz told the Free Press. “He did not have my permission to take her.”