Police release these photos of 17-year-old Clinton teen Rebecca Arthur and her Facebook friend Sima El Adal. (Clinton Police)
The note Rebecca Arthur's mother wrote. (Clinton police photo)
CLINTON, CT (WFSB) -
Police in Clinton said a teen who flew to Morocco has been found safe in that country.
Investigators said Rebecca Arthur went to visit a man she met on the social media website Facebook.
Police said on Friday that the U.S. consulate in Casablanca has been in touch with the girl and her family.
"We have information that the girl is safe," said Jessica Dancel, assistant information officer at the U.S. Embassy. "The U.S. Consulate is providing consular services to assist her."
Police said she was located around 3 a.m., 9 p.m. eastern time, about 220 miles southwest of Casablanca. She was with the boy she'd been communicating with, Simo El Adala, and his family.
"It appears that the gentleman in Morocco also misled his parents," said Sgt, Jeremiah Dunn, Clinton police. "And the two youth perpetrated this event without their parents consent or knowledge."
They said she forged a note that allowed her to get on a $1,200 flight to Morocco. She also had a passport. Officials are now working to get her home. They said she should be back in a few days.
Detectives said they believe she altered a notarized permission slip to board the plane without an adult.
"It's my understanding that a permission slip, which was required by the airlines, may have been forged, so she duped the airlines as well," Dunn said.
Police said the teen told her mother that she was heading to California to visit a friend, but instead boarded an international flight.
"As you can imagine, there's great deal of concern for her well-being," said Officer Adrian Santiago, detective division, Clinton police. "This comes as a surprise to the majority of her family and friends."
Police said her mother took her to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City on Monday. That’s when she apparently boarded a flight to Casablanca, reportedly to see Adala, whom she’d been in contact with through Facebook.
“In 30 years in law enforcement, this is as unique as it gets,” Dunn said. “I've never dealt with a missing person to this degree."
“It's scary because you don't know really who you're dealing with online,” said Erica Mychalowsky of Clinton. "I would be devastated, completely devastated.”
The pair posted that they have been dating since February but that they had been speaking for a year. Police, however, said they are not sure of Simo Adala is the man’s true identity.
They said whoever is overseeing that Facebook account paid for Arthur’s ticket.
“We don’t know if he's real, if he's somebody else and what were her motives for going to Morocco,” Dunn said. “Why did she lie to her mom? Saying [she’s] going to California."