FOUND: Christina Hinderer
Christina was found today. The Detective telephoned me at 11 a.m. CDT US time explaining to me that he has good news and bad news. As most of you know, having not heard from Christina and so my thoughts ran to - okay they found her and she is dead. This wasn't the news at all, in fact, it was good news, the best a mother could pray for. This detective went on to say that the good news is, we found Christina and she is okay, the bad news is she is in Long Island, New York. We live near Houston in Texas. Anyway, after the detective called, I telephoned my counselor at National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and relayed the good news. This is a fantastic organization. She took right off as a liason between the detective and the Long Island Police Department and was working on an interstate transfer - which would save this single parent a ton of money.
The saga goes on, I then received a telephone call from CPS in NY. I thought, on no, not again. I have been grilled, rotated and grilled again. The local authorities have verfied everything-and I mean everything, the school was supportive and everything was smooth sailing. The funny thing is, as I was being grilled by the NY CPS, I melted and began sobbing. It was as if the flood gates opened and someone forgot to close them and I had no more control over the tears than I have over the rain.
Anyway, this kind woman asked me what happened, I explained to her everything I knew and then she asked my permission to allow Christina to stay at the runaway shelter in NY for the night, as they have an open bed and it would take at least a day before travel arrangements could be made and it was already after 1 p.m. eastern time.
After this, I telephoned my counselor again at NCMEC because I had forgotten to tell the CPS lady something. I told my counselor that I want Christina to know that I am disappointed. I don't want Christina to know I am mad, hurt, or became lost behind all of this, I just want her to know I love her very much and that I am disappointed. This way, it will leave a door open for her to come home and be a part of the family, without fear, hopefully! As we all know, fear in a teenager will make one do the strangest things.
I walked back into my office and thanked God for a wonderful phone call and then sent out emails to people I knew that were in prayer and/or worrying about what was going on with Christina. We were all starting to feel hopeless and helpless.
So here is how Christina was caught. The cousin of the family where she was staying with a 23 or 24 year old male, saw her picture at the NCMEC. This is a Mexican family. The cousin told his/her uncle - the father of the 23 / 24 year old that he/she believes Christina is the person in the flyer. The father of the 23 / 24 year old doesn't speak much English at all so he went to his priest and explained to the priest what was going on. The priest sent the senior home and then the priest telephoned the police. The police picked up Christina and detained her while contacting my detective. Christina's identity was confirmed.
A little background. This male who should be 24 years of age now is named Michael Morales.
Two years ago, or a bit longer, a new family moved into our area. They are from Long Island, New York. No one would associate with the 16 year old young lady except for Christina (tis that old southern versus northern mentality - originating from Maryland, I understand this, even though Maryland was south of the Mason/Dixon line).
We invited the young lady to the renaissance festival with us that thanksgiving holiday. I was with the children 100% of the time. This young lady introduced Christina to Michael Morales over her cell phone, though she told her parents that Christina grabbed the phone from her hands. This was one of those unthruths to protect one's own teenage dignity I suspect.
Anyway, Christina and Michael became cell phone pals. I regulated the phone so I suspected this interfered with Christina's ability to communicate on the occasion and I finally put a stop to his calls and grounded Christina because she was abusing the privilege.
It was approximately three months later, a girl friend of mine came to stay with us along with her two small children, they were living at a battered women's shelter. One day, Jane and I arrived home earlier than Christina and were able to check the mail first, like little children eh? In the box was a package for Jane. She was pretty excited since she hadn't lived with us long at all and it was her first piece of real mail again.
Jane opened the package with the enthusiam of a child. I sat back and smiled. It was a cellular phone, and it wasn't just any cellular phone, it was a high dollar one. We looked at each other as Jane didn't have a job yet and she panicked and said she had to send it back. We then looked at the return address and both became extremely angry - it was like two peas in a pod. It was from Michael Morales in Long Island, New York.
That afternoon Christina came home on the bus. She came into the house and we both explained the dangers of giving out our home address to strangers she doesn't know. The reins were tightened and with Jane in the house, I had a half a chance of follow through.
During this timeframe, while Michael was unable to gain contact with Christina he wrote the girlfriend back who introduced them and said many horrible things. These things were so bad that the girlfriend's father and the girlfriend from Long Island came to my home to show me the terrible thinigs Michael was saying and that I needed to make him stop it. This girl's father then told me that he is 21 years old and is in high school as a senior. This age thing set off alarms in my brain, as the average high school senior is between the ages of 17 and 19. This guy is 21 and this whole thing doesn't add up.
After I was finished explaining to the young lady's father how Christina met Michael - since it was his daughter who went to school with him - etc. The young lady said Christina had yanked the phone from her and took control. Herein lies the untruth. Nonetheless, herein lies further information.
I immediately got on my computer and did a background check on Michael Morales and found out he has a criminal past that postponed his education. I then called him while conferencing Sonyia on the line (Christina's aunt) and explained to that Christina was only 14 and a half and that if he didn't quit calling my home I would call the authorities.
Of course, he didn't finish calling and so I called the authorities. There wasn't anything they could do unless there was a threat.
Christina didn't know this nor did the young man. I let them both know that the authorities knew about Michael and that Michael was very specifically told that Christina was a minor.
Jane and I thought we had this one nailed shut. Today I learned we did not. The original threat, Larry Kellenberger is still considered a predator with all of the statements he has made concerning Christina here locally. Michael is claiming he didn't know Christina was a minor - which is a flat out lie. I don't know what recourse I will have with these two men, though I know if I don't do something now, the next child will be younger and so on.
Now I have to go and clean up the internet and see about getting a runaway classified as a Class C Misdemeanor. (This is like getting a traffic ticket, it is truly not a hardened crime, nor is it a recordable crime.)
God bless all of you here at Peace 4 the Missing. I know I had a few short circuits while this episode of life was ongoing and I cannot thank you all for all that you have done for me. I pray that some day I may meet you - each of you and hug you in life. Until then, I hug you in prayer and hug you in soul.
I promise to keep coming back and keeping up with you folks, but for the immediate future I have had to hire a babysitter for Christina, contact the school to put in place an escort for her to get on the bus instead of a strange man's car and finally go through her room and make it childproofed.
P.S. I miss her so much and so does her sister. I can't wait to see her and hug her and let her know how much she is loved and then I will tell her about the disappointment.