Texas teen found in Carlsbad after dad's plea goes viral
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A Texas man has been reunited with his missing daughter after she was found here in Carlsbad, and it was due in part to a YouTube video her father made that went viral on the internet.
Ray Wilson says making the video and posting it online was the best way he thought he could reach outside of Amarillo, Texas and get the social and viral media world to help find his 17-year-old daughter Haley.
"I thought it would be easier to just hold up the items people were questioning and asking about and do the video," he said.
In the video he shows notes Haley left behind, saying "Don't look for me, I know you go to the end of the world for me." The other stated "It's because you care and there's nothing going for me."
While he says tips and possible sightings came in from literally around the world, one specific tip from a girl in California gave him a sense of where his daughter was.
"Once she shared that information with me and I knew it was accurate and I hadn't shared it with anyone else, I knew it was a legitimate lead," Wilson said.
While he had a good idea at that point that she was in California, he had no idea she was living here in a cul-de-sac in Carlsbad. But why did this 17 year old leave the day after Christmas? Ot's a question only Haley can answer.
"I was going to go to Mexico on the beach," she said.
While that was her plan,it's not the reason. Haley explains that she'd experimented with drugs a few months back and her father wasn't happy about it. She told him she'd stop, but she didn't.
"I kept making those decisions and my dad didn't know I was making them," she said.
Hiding her continued drug use, her dad congratulated her for staying straight, and eventually on December 26 the guilt from living a lie got to her.
"I didn't want to hurt him anymore because the last time I got into trouble he was really hurt, so I thought it would be better to just run away and take the pain I caused with me," she said.
Haley's adventure wasn't without its issues. She was living in her car, and through this cross-country adventure, she says she's truly learned a valuable lesson.
"You can't be so hard on yourself," she says. "Because you do have to live with your mistakes, but those mistakes aren't the end of you. There's always people who love you no matter what."