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Teen Met Man Online And Went Missing For A Year - Found Alive

We’ve all heard the horror stories of teens being targeted by predators they’ve met online, but most families are fortunate enough to not ever have to deal with that nightmare. This family from North Carolina wasn’t so lucky. Their 16-year-old daughter completely vanished after she was convinced to meet up with a 31-year-old man that she had met online.

As USA Today shares, this story thankfully has a happy ending. Hailey Burns, now 17, has been tracked down at a home in Duluth, Georgia. The man she met, Michael Wysolovski, has been taken into custody, and he’s now facing some serious charges.

“We notified the school. We notified her therapist. We had everyone that was helping her, yet she still found ways to get around it,” said the teen’s father, Tony Burns. "You feel completely out of control. You don't know what to do. You just panic."

An FBI special agent in Charlotte, North Carolina received a tip that led them to finally track the teen down. Wysolovski is now facing charges of allegedly holding the teen captive, cruelty to children deprivation in the 1st degree, interference with custody, false imprisonment, and aggravated sodomy. Her mother, Shauna Burns, is incredibly grateful that her family’s nightmare is over.

“It was a dream come true,” she said. “(He) got her in the car, brought her straight to his house and she pretty much had to stay there the whole time.”

The tipster was able to get a hold of the teen online, but she had no idea where she was. She snapped a photo of the house she was in, and she was rescued soon thereafter.

“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,” Shauna continued. “You have to let go of the hope that she will just walk through the door. We are past that point. She is not just going to come home in the middle of the night. You have to hope that they still find her, wherever she is.”

The parents would wake up one morning to find that their daughter was gone. She simply vanished from her home after meeting the man, and she was gone for a year. Conversations with one of her classmates confirmed their worst fears.

“You have to distract yourself because you will drive yourself crazy wondering what you could have done, or could be doing,” Anthony continued. “He told me that my daughter had been talking to a 30-year-old man for over six months who was trying to convince her to talk to him, and saying that he would be her friend and she could come to him.”

This is an unimaginable nightmare that the family has lived through. While this one had a happy ending, there are way too many cases that do not. For the rest of us, we can use the tale of the Burns family as further confirmation: remain as diligent as possible in staying involved in your teen's life - no matter how much they resist those attempts.

Source: USA Today, WSOC TV
Photo: FBI, WCNC-TV

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