AL girl who vanished in 2015 reunited with family in TX - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

AL girl who vanished in 2015 reunited with family in TX

Alissia Freeman found safe in El Paso, TX.  (Source: FBI) Alissia Freeman found safe in El Paso, TX. (Source: FBI)
(Source: Help Find Alissia Freeman Facebook page) (Source: Help Find Alissia Freeman Facebook page)
EL PASO, TX (WSFA) -

More than a year after she went missing, a Crenshaw County girl has been reunited with her family during a meeting in El Paso, Texas.

Myra Alissia Freeman vanished from her house in Highland Home in December 2015.

Freeman met with both family members and FBI agents at a restaurant in Texas Wednesday morning. Photos taken of her by the FBI show she's all smiles, though few details have been released.

No information has been released on the events that have transpired with Alissia over the past 16 months. It is not clear if she left home willingly or not.

On Monday, Alissia's mother, Vickie Metcalf, publicly stated she'd heard from her daughter and conducted a video chat with her, confirming she was safe. 

It's not clear if Freeman will come back to Alabama, according to the sheriff's office, since her parents eventually moved to Missouri. 

A post Tuesday night on the Facebook page dedicated to the search for Alissia asked for patience "during this exciting, yet still difficult time."

Alissia’s disappearance made national news and her photo was shared around the world after she told her parents on Dec. 13, 2015, she was taking out the trash. She never returned.

When her family realized she was gone, they started looking for her in their neighborhood. They soon learned that a neighbor saw Alissia, then 17, walking down the road they live on by herself. She didn't appear to have anything with her at the time. 

It was believed the homeschooled teen left with someone she met online. The FBI and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency have been working with the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office during the course of the investigation.

The sheriff said Alissia wasn't seen getting into a vehicle the day she went missing, but it’s possible she was lured away by someone she connected with on social media. Local, state and federal authorities spent countless hours on the case and a $13,500 reward for information was offered.

There were a number of reported sightings of Alissia over the past 16 months, both locally and in cities across the Southeast, from Atlanta to New Orleans. Sheriff Mickey Powell said surveillance video of what looked like the teen on Bourbon Street was reviewed. None of the sightings were ever confirmed.

"We have hoped all along that we could bring this family good news," the sheriff said.

Metcalf constantly updated the “Help Find Alissia Freeman” Facebook page, sharing her pictures in the hopes someone will recognize her and come forward with important information.

In their quest for answers, Metcalf and her husband, Alissia’s stepfather, were targeted by scammers preying on vulnerable families. They got a message on the Facebook page from someone who said they lived in Georgia and had been dating a man who they found out was a pimp. The tipster said they saw him with Alissia in Atlanta and alluded that she had been sold to someone in Canada.

The Metcalfs said the claims and conversations were detailed and convincing. They were told they could buy Alissia back from the human traffickers for $35,000. Another $35,000 payment was required once they were reunited with her. The couple found out it was fake when they gave the information to the FBI. The IP address traced back to Russia.

In 2016, Metcalf made a post that went viral and was shared internationally that addressed the possibility that her daughter was tied up in human trafficking.

“There's been a lot of tips that have come in. We're still not 100 percent sure on what the situation is but trafficking is a possibility. We don't know for sure what's going on, really. There are no updates other than some tips that have come in. Everything is still pretty much the same,” Metcalf said about the investigation.

In her post, she wrote: “According to dosomething.org, between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked in the U.S. each year. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking).”

A press conference with the Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney will held in the near future once reports are received from the FBI, Sheriff Powell indicated.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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