Meanwhile, the girl, now 17, was reunited with her family on Sunday.
“[She] is so so happy to be home and safe. She is happy to be in her clothes. … In her bed. With her family,” her mother said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “She had scrambled eggs and fresh fruit for breakfast.”
The girl was found in the wee hours of Sunday morning at a home on Seneca Trail in Duluth after the FBI’s Charlotte field office got a tip that she was being held there. The house, located in a quiet neighborhood, appeared well-kept.
“It will be a long road for [her], but we cannot thank the law enforcement agencies enough,” the mother said. “They worked tirelessly to bring our baby back to us.”
The teenager went missing on May 23, 2016, when police said she “left her home” in Charlotte between midnight and 6 a.m. The FBI offered a $15,000 reward to find her.
The girl has medical conditions and had not taken any required medications with her. She had several social media accounts, and some were not on mainstream channels, the FBI said.
Though a spokeswoman for the FBI declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation, local Charlotte media reported that the girl’s parents believed she left home because she met an older man online.
“(A classmate) told me that my daughter had been talking to a 30-year-old man for over six months … saying that he would be her friend and she could come to him,” the father told local TV station WSOC earlier this month.
The FBI will continue to work with Charlotte and Gwinnett County police as they investigate the girl’s disappearance and rescue.