As parents, we want nothing more than to know that our children are safe. Having a child comes with plenty of stresses and concerns, of course, but their general well-being always comes first, no matter what.
So you can understand why it’s so terrifying if your kid were to ever go missing. You have no information about whether they’re safe, and most importantly, if they’ll return home unharmed.
That’s why the disappearance of 17-year-old Alabama resident Myra Alissia Freeman was an absolute nightmare for her family. Yet what ended up happening to her completely surprised everyone…
Seventeen-year-old Myra Freeman, who most commonly went by her middle name, Alissia, was a seemingly happy, secure young woman. She was home-schooled, and she seemed to get along just fine with her family. So it was a complete shock when, one day, something happened to Alissia that seemed out of character—and that no one could have expected.
Vickie Metcalfe / WSFA 12
On a seemingly ordinary late-Sunday afternoon on December 13, 2015, Alissia stepped out of her house in Alabama to take out the garbage she’d collected from her room… and that was the last her family saw of her. She simply just… disappeared. Where in the world could she have possibly gone?
According to one of the family’s neighbors, Alissia was spotted walking down the road without any of her belongings. Alissia’s mother, Vickie Metcalf, had no way of knowing what had become of her daughter. She was devastated. Why would she just leave home like that… if that’s what she was even doing?
Initially, it seemed as if the young woman had simply run away. This seemed even more likely when investigators discovered that she had deleted her Facebook account and wiped her computer’s hard drive completely clean.
It was especially alarming since, according to Vickie, everything seemed perfectly fine before the time that her daughter disappeared. Why would she ever want to leave? Alissia had a great relationship with her family, after all, and Vickie couldn’t think of anything that could push her daughter away.
An early theory regarding Alissia’s disappearance suggested that she had run off to see someone whom she had met online. She had been frequenting chat rooms on the internet, but what she was talking about was not clear.
Alabama Law Enforcement, the local county sheriff, and even the FBI were involved in the search for Alissia. The chat room information seemed like a lead, but there was no report of her getting into a car or meeting up with anyone when she disappeared.
The family received no new information about Alissia for months. It seemed that there was nowhere else for the investigation to go, even after so much time was spent searching for her. The $13,500 reward for information about Alissia’s whereabouts didn’t garner any reliable leads, either.
Then, something strange happened. A number of sightings were reported over the next few months; people claimed that they saw her both locally and as far away as Atlanta, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana. While a CCTV security camera appeared to have captured her at one point, nothing could be confirmed.
Vickie set up a Facebook page called “Help Find Alissia Freeman” where she posted her daughter’s photos in an attempt to gain whatever information that she could. She hoped that somebody would recognize Alissia and reach out to her with any clues.
Unfortunately, the family was not contacted by people who actually found Alissia, but by criminals and scammers looking to profit off of their problems. Around the time of Alissia’s 18th birthday, one person even claimed that they saw her with an Atlanta pimp.
The tipster, however, was quite convincing. They went into great detail about how Alissia had been captured by human traffickers and sold to somebody in Canada. They claimed that the family would have to pay $70,000 to get her back because she was being held at ransom.
It seemed believable enough, but Vickie ran the information by the FBI nonetheless. Soon enough, investigators found that the family was being tricked and that the tipster actually had a Russian IP address.
Still, Vickie remained hopeful despite the fact that she had no idea whether her daughter was even alive. She had many sleepless nights, but she had to keep trying. She refused to give up on her daughter.
Then, in April, 2017, something truly unbelievable happened: Alissia herself contacted her mother. Vickie was shocked. She couldn’t believe that she was hearing from her daughter for the first time in almost a year and a half. Could this be real? Or was it just another scam?
The young woman had made a video call to Vickie, who was able to confirm that she seemed to be in a safe location. She learned her daughter was actually in El Paso, Texas, which was more than a thousand miles away from the family’s home in Alabama.
Even though con artists had maliciously tried to target the family before, Vickie felt confident that this particular call was, in fact, from Alissia. Still, she took in as many details as she could; she just needed to be sure that she wasn’t being tricked again.
They set up a reunion a couple of days later in El Paso. Even though Vickie was sure this was her daughter, the FBI still wanted to perform DNA tests on her to confirm that she was who she claimed to be. They had to take every precaution, especially after considering how scammers had targeted the family throughout the course of their ordeal.
After it was confirmed that it was, indeed, Alissia who had reached out to her, Vickie took to Facebook to detail everything that happened. She chose not to reveal where Alissia had been for 16 months, and she requested patience and privacy. All she could say was that Alissia had been dealing with some things from her past that were now being addressed.
“She went through some things when she was younger. She’s had a hard time with it, and our communication wasn’t the best, and she didn’t think I’d understand,” said Vickie. “She is just trying to heal now.”
Vickie went more than a year without knowing whether or not she would ever see her daughter again. Despite the fact that Alissia’s disappearance caused the family incredible sadness and frustration—and put them at the center of several unfortunate scams involving what Vickie described as “ugly” messages—one thing was certain: at least they were reunited and Alissia was alive!
It’s such a relief to discover that, after so much turmoil, Alissia ended up being safe and she was in the process of working through her issues. Hopefully the family’s reunion and healing will go as smoothly as possible and Alissia continues to stay safe.
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