AL teen found near U.S./Mexico border left home willingly in 201 - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

AL teen found near U.S./Mexico border left home willingly in 2015

(Source: Help Find Alissia Freeman Facebook page) (Source: Help Find Alissia Freeman Facebook page)
(Source: Vickie Metcalf) (Source: Vickie Metcalf)
Alissia Freeman and her mother after their reunion. (Courtesy: Vickie Metcalf) Alissia Freeman and her mother after their reunion. (Courtesy: Vickie Metcalf)
Agents took this picture at the reunion. (Source: FBI/Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office) Agents took this picture at the reunion. (Source: FBI/Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Help Find Alissia Freeman Facebook page) (Source: Help Find Alissia Freeman Facebook page)
CRENSHAW COUNTY, AL (WSFA) -

The mother of a missing Highland Home teenager found in Texas this week says her daughter left home on her own accord when she vanished more than a year ago.

Alissia Freeman was reunited with her family Wednesday in El Paso.

Her 2015 disappearance sparked concerns that she was possibly the victim of a kidnapping and could also have gotten tied up in human trafficking.

Freeman contacted her mother earlier this week and relatives and FBI agents met up with her at a restaurant in Texas.

After speaking with her about her disappearance and the time that’s passed since the day she went missing, her mother, Vickie Metcalf, says Alissia left home willingly.

She has not been in Texas during the entire 16 months that she’s been gone, but Metcalf declined to say anything more at this point.

“We are enjoying our time together very much,” Metcalf said. Right now I'm trying not to hound her with a bunch of questions. I'm just so happy that she did contact me now and I honestly haven't even asked her why she reached out now.”

The Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office and FBI have not released any information on the investigation. 

On Dec. 13, 2015, Alissia told her parents she was cleaning her room at her family’s home on Dailey Road in Highland Home's Magnolia Shores community. She went to take the garbage from her room to the trash can outside, but never came back.

When her family realized she was gone, they started looking for her in their neighborhood. They soon learned that a neighbor saw Alissia walking down the road they live on by herself. She didn't appear to have anything with her at the time. She was 17 when she vanished. She is now 19.

Local, state and federal authorities have spent countless hours on the case and a $13,500 reward was offered for information.

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

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

A post to the page asked that the family be given space during this “difficult, but exciting time” as they figure out what’s next for them.

Relatives did not know if Alissia would come back to Alabama.

Her mother, stepfather and siblings now live in Missouri.

Relatives said their ordeal has made them realize how many other families are dealing with missing person cases involving a loved one and how many people fall prey to human traffickers by interacting with other victims, their families and various organizations.

“It's shed a light that we didn't even think about before this,” Alissia’s uncle, Calvin Thornton, said.

Metcalf addressed social media backlash her daughter has been receiving after news broke that she’d been found.  

“Please stop messaging my daughter with ugly messages and making ugly comments about her. She went through some things when she was younger (no I will not explain..it is not my place to) that had an effect on her,” her mother wrote. “She's had a hard time with it and our communication wasn't the best and she didn’t think I'd understand (my fault not hers). We are working on that now. She is just trying to heal now. No one has any right to say anything negative to her or about her. If you must be negative direct it to me and not her.”

“We appreciate that you all have worried, prayed, and shared her poster and we are glad to rejoice with you all in the fact that she is safe and that IS ALL THAT MATTERS,” she added.

Alissia declined to make any statements when contacted via Facebook. 

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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