Connie McCallister vanished from Wausau, Wisconsin, on August 15, 2004. The 16-year-old girl was dating a 22-year-old man, and her family feared she was being manipulated. On the evening of her disappearance, McCallister and her boyfriend went to a party in Milwaukee. She never returned home.
On the night she went missing, McCallister called home to speak with her sister. She said she was stranded at the party and her boyfriend refused to being her home. The teen never made it back to Wausau. Her family spent the next nine years trying to find her.
McCallister said her boyfriend was mentally and physically abusive. He eventually took her to his native country of Mexico, where she was routinely drugged and beaten. As reported by the Journal Sentinel, she eventually escaped her boyfriend, but ended up in an equally abusive relationship.
The teen eventually sought professional help to escape the abuse. A social worker helped her change her identity and start a new life. She was able to find a job “working in the fields” to support herself and her young child.
Connie McCallister eventually met her current husband, and confided in him about her abduction. With the help of a local missionary, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children was contacted about her whereabouts.
Wausau Police Captain Greg Hagenbucher said the women’s identity was confirmed through Skype conversations with her family. However, she refuses to leave Mexico without her three children. She simply cannot afford the trip.
As reported by Wausau Daily Herald, the US Consulate is working with the young mother to file the necessary documents to bring her children back to Wisconsin.
McCallister’s first boyfriend is currently wanted on unrelated charges of first-degree sexual assault. His whereabouts are unknown.
Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens is hosting a soup dinner to raise funds for Connie McCallister’s return. The dinner is planned for November 17.
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