A missing teenager was safely reunited with her family early Tuesday morning, according to Minnesota authorities, and her former boyfriend is now in police custody after the pair were found Monday night in an Iowa apartment south of the Minnesota state line.
The parents of high school senior Lindsey Marisa Lease, a 17-year-old from Worthington, Minn., reported their daughter missing Sunday morning after finding her Honda Accord abandoned with a broken-out window and bloodstained interior.
Less than three hours after she was reported missing, the girl called her parents, Kevin Lease told ABC News Monday. Her voice sounded guarded, according to her mother, Kami, who took the call. Their daughter said that she was OK, was out of town and would be home soon. When asked if Syhavong had taken her against her will, she said no, her parents told police.
Kevin and Kami Lease told police that they believed Sonny Syhavong, another 17-year-old from Worthington, whom they described as their daughter's former boyfriend, might have been with the missing girl. The Lease family had a protective order taken out against Syhavong after a physical altercation last winter, police said.
Local, state and federal authorities launched a search for the girl, recovering Syhavong's GMC Suburban car Sunday afternoon across the state line in West Des Moines, Iowa, but failing to locate either of the teens.
As word of the girl's disappearance continued to spread Monday, police found the pair at 10:40 p.m., after receiving a tip, reportedly from Syhavong's family. The two were found inside a West Des Moines apartment belonging to Syhavong's brother-in-law, authorities said.
Syhavong was taken into custody on an "apprehension and detention order stemming from a probation violation," according to a statement released today by the Worthington Police Department. He was scheduled to appear in an Iowa court today for a juvenile extradition hearing. He could face additional charges, according to the statement.
Kevin and Kami Lease arrived in West Des Moines after midnight to be reunited with their daughter. In local TV footage, Lindsey did not appear to be hurt, but it's still not clear where the blood in her car came from or how the teens ended up nearly 300 miles away from Worthington. The family could not be reached for comment.
Police believe the two teens may have met at a homecoming party both attended in Worthington Saturday night. Sgt. Dale Buck of the West Des Moines Police Department said that the girl's parents told police they believed that their daughter had not left the party with Syhavong voluntarily.
"They indicated that after a forcible abduction … he was a mental manipulator," Buck told KCCI television station in Des Moines, "and thereby maybe talking her into going with him willingly."
Worthington Police Chief Michael J. Cumiskey declined an interview today with ABC News but planned to hold an afternoon press conference.