Katherine Lester, a 16 year old honors student from Michigan ran away from her home on a trek towards Jericho in search of her 25 year old, Palestinian internet lover who she met on myspace.com. Taking a flight from JFK to Amman, Jordan, she hoped to make her way to Tel-Aviv, and from there to Jericho to meet her new internet friend.
Katherine, who is a little less than two weeks from turning 17, was last seen around home on Monday -- before she got into a cab with enough clothes for two weeks, a birth certificate and a passport authorities say she snookered her mom into getting for her.
On Thursday night, FBI agents found the Akron-Fairgrove High School honor roll student at the airport in Amman, Jordan -- a long, long way from the house on the gravel road next to Buddy's Small Engine Repair.
When agents found her, the 16-year-old was on her way to meet a 25-year-old man in Jericho, on the West Bank, authorities said. Or so that's what the man claimed to be when they met about three months ago via her page on MySpace, a hugely popular Internet social site.
Katherine returned home late Friday, with television news footage showing her waving as she walked across a tarmac at Bishop International Airport in Flint. She was taken to a private area to be reunited with her family.
"It's just a mess," her mother, Shawn Lester, said earlier Friday afternoon, outside her modest home in Michigan's Thumb. (Detroit Free Press)
Parents: Take Jameel's advice -- monitor your kid's computer activity! And locking up their passports isn't a bad idea either...
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael
That must be one of the scariest posts ever.
I think I'll just lock up my daughters with copies of Hamodia to keep them company.
Let's call upon those 25 year old adults to be responsible too.
Jameel, don't we both know someone who 'dated' a girl over the computer, and she lived in the West Bank while he was in the US, and then he ran away to Israel, and married her?
1) I'd say it's best that the mother not speak to the press, because that way the world doesn't know how little she was supervising her 16-year-old, and how foolish she feels for having been outsmarted by her.
A passport to Canada?? Clue number one...
2) Stupid, stupid girl. Being on the honor roll clearly does not confer common sense. If she can navigate the internet, get suckered in by Jericho Joe and get herself to Amman, she can read about current events on the internet too. She's lucky to be alive.
Chana, crabby tonight
Eek, I have chills up my spine.
That girl's really stupid. Not that I'm saying Jericho Joe is necessarily a terrorist, but here in the U.S., 16 is way too young for a 25-year-old to be able to say his girlfriend is.
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