Without warning, our daughter, 18, disappeared July 9th. She left a note saying that she loved us, but needed her space; she’d found a job in a smaller city 100 miles away.
She later texted that she was living with a friend, in a house owned by the friend’s father, and working in the father’s company.
She’d taken clothes, her laptop, phone, passport, but not her social insurance number.
We don’t know this friend’s name or address. She was picked up from our home around 9a.m. The only communications we get are a few texts/messages and what she records on social media.
Her phone got “lost.” Since then, her social media messages have hinted about family values and that we should accept what’s happened.
Messages from her high school friends aren’t answered; our family messages are answered but often delayed. She’s never called.
We discovered her pictures on Escort websites and fear for her safety. We’ve also discovered that over the last year she’d constantly lied about where she was, or going.
Our private investigator feels she’s actively hiding from us. We’ve placed a Missing Persons ad in her area, but no response. We still don’t know if it’s really her sending the messages. All we want to know is if she’s okay, and where she’s residing.
My husband and I are both professionals and aren’t experiencing any marital, family, or financial issues. We have a very close extended family. She’s never been in trouble at school or with the law. Is there anything else we should be doing?
Worried and Concerned
Every parent including me, empathizes with you, and wishes your worst fears will be unfounded, and there’ll be a positive resolution from this mysterious disappearance.
Because it IS a mystery, I believe you need to involve the Police (locally, first, so they can search for the clues as to how she met this “friend” and “her father.”) Until you know that it IS her texting you and using social media, you cannot rest in your search.
Your Police can then reach out to the smaller city’s force to expand the search.
It’s odd that a friend’s father who’s employing her - without an S.I.N. - hasn’t suspected she’s “disappeared.” Though she’s legally independent at18, it’s disturbing that he wouldn’t check on any parental concern, and even contact you.
Persist. She may’ve experienced a mental health event that requires medical treatment.
If found, she’ll know the depth of your concern and love, which can help her.
FEEDBACK Regarding the “secret” strip dancer, 21 (August 27):
Reader – “My sister, 29, has also been leading a “secret life” for six years, with men who are abusive emotionally and financially.
“I tried with her last relationship to do as you suggested: Treat her like an adult, proceed cautiously, try to stay close, and even meet her man.
“But she’s living in a dream world, and won’t recognize or acknowledge the damage each man causes her. So she lies to cover for him.
“Worse, her last partner made up lies about us, which she believed, which brought them closer!
“Why must the family accept these partners when they cause so much grief?
“How can we treat people, like my sister, as adults when they don’t behave or have the capacity to recognize their choices and outcomes, and take responsibility?”
Ellie – “Each story causes family torment but has its own unique factors, so my Aug. 27 response reflected that particular case.
“Though it’s difficult, your sister still needs your caring connection.”
We attended a family wedding in a small town. The ceremony was simple, the reception at the Legion. When it’s stated that $150 gift per person is “commonly acceptable” (to cover a reception dinner), that may suit a ritzy downtown wedding.
The cost of their dinner was $16 per person. If my sister, husband, and two teenagers paid the stated amount, their gift would’ve been $600!
We also paid $50+ for a “fund-raising” shower, (plus small gift), $50 for gas to the wedding, and $100+ for a motel and breakfast.
We’re retired on a limited income, so there's no way we could add a $300 wedding gift.
I always stress most, “pay what you can afford.” Also, “covering” a reception and dinner, obviously varies… here, $25 a person would’ve covered dinner, flowers, maybe even the invitations.
Don’t look for resentments. Set your own standard, and stick with your convictions.
Tip of the day:
A relative’s unusual “disappearance” must be relentlessly pursued.