California Runaway Teenage Girl Reconnects With Mom From Mexico Via Facebook

PHOTO: Alisa Wheeler and Sheri Simonek
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Missing for nearly four months, a runaway teen has resurfaced by connecting with her mother through Facebook. Alisa Wheeler, a 15-year-old from Taft, Calif., disappeared from her home June 21 and was thought to have left for Mexico with adult boyfriend "Afillo," also known as "Roi."

Alisa's mother, Sheri Simonek, described her daughter's disappearance as "every parent's worst nightmare." Simonek was originally concerned that Alisa might end up being sold into the sex trade if she reached Mexico.

"It's gotten me to the point that I am in counseling," Simonek told ABC News affiliate KERO-TV Monday. "I've started counseling for myself and my kids that I have at home."

Alisa has hardly been living the life of a typical young person, but she reached out to her mother via the quintessential teenage medium, Facebook. Simonek says that her daughter contacted her Friday.

"She told me over and over again how sorry she is she let me down," Simonek told KERO-TV.

The troubled teenager turned 15 a few weeks before she disappeared and told her mother that she had been using crystal meth about a month prior to her disappearance.

"She is amazing and I don't know how she is caught up with these kids and just that wrong crowd and why," Simonek told KERO-TV in June. "I don't understand it. … I sometimes feel like I failed as a parent."

While the Kern County Sheriff's office still considers Alisa's missing persons case an ongoing investigation, they believe that it is Alisa who contacted her mother through the social networking site and they are now focused on locating her in Mexico.

Public Information Officer Ray Pruitt said he can't recall another case where a missing person used Facebook to reconnect with family members.

Although Simonek is happy to be back in contact with Alisa, she was surprised by her daughter's news about Roi.

"When she, I guess, got down there, he was married and she left," Simonek said.

While Alisa remained in Mexico, she told her mother she is now married to a different man and is about three months pregnant.

Simonek said Alisa gave few details about her situation except to say that her new husband is 23 and named Chino. She told her mother they were living in the Mexican state of Baja California but no other specifics.

But Simonek is just thankful to be in touch with her daughter again. She said she would even be willing to pay for Alisa and her husband to come back to Taft.

"If that's what makes her happy and for her to come home, I will help him," she said. "Whatever I have to do to get his papers."

Alisa wasn't the only one to use Facebook during the ordeal. A Facebook page dedicated to the missing teen was created soon after Alisa's disapperance. According to the page's most recent update, Alisa has agreed to return home.

 
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