Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The prodigal daughters return

Thank God they're back and are ok.

Now the family will need time to resolve the conflict.

Good Luck.

Spring Branch runaways back with family

Two teenage sisters who ran away from home to California to meet up with a woman they met online are now back in Comal County. They returned by their own choice.

Elsa and Celia Fitch, ages 16 and 15, left home Feb. 11 after going to bed, said their mother, Anne Fitch.

They told classmates they were going to Florida or California to meet a woman they knew from an online role-playing game.

Family spoke to the San Diego woman, who goes by the name “Tristan,” on the phone, Fitch said, but Comal County Sheriff’s Office investigators told her to refrain from speaking to the woman.

Phone calls resumed, however. Fitch said her relatives spoke to the woman, and Fitch was told Tristan had warrants out for her arrest. It was unclear to Fitch on Tuesday what agency has warrants out for the woman’s arrest or on what charges.

Family members bought plane tickets for Celia and Elsa and they both boarded a flight from San Francisco on Sunday evening, Fitch said. The girls said they were returning to “protect” their friend in California.

Both girls are Smithson Valley High School students.

The teens had dyed their hair in California and were using aliases, Fitch said.

They are now staying with relatives, and refuse to speak to their mother. Despite that, Fitch said she is glad they are home.

“We’re just trying to get help for them,” Fitch said. “They’re safe here. I’m really glad they’re back.”

Elsa started role playing online about eight years ago, Fitch said, but wouldn’t tell her parents which Web site she was using. The games soon turned more private as she started playing with people through chat services, where Web site administrators couldn’t monitor them, Fitch said.

Elsa started calling “Tristan” in December, racking up phone bills – 9,000 minutes worth in December and 11,000 minutes in January, Fitch said.

Soon after, Anne Fitch and her husband, Hollis Fitch, took their child’s computer away.

In a diary Elsa kept from that time, she wrote, “taking away her computer and all her friends was unacceptable,” Anne Fitch said.

The parents believe the woman gave the girls cell phones and paid for them to be picked up at their Spring Branch home.