CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It’s the ending many parents hope for, but very few end up getting.
“We know that this happy ending is not the norm, it is the exception to the rule,” Shaunna Burns, Hailey’s mother, told WSOC. “We want people to know that there are happy endings to this kind of a story.”
In May of 2016, family members called police to report that 16-year-old Hailey Burns had suddenly disappeared.
Her parents say they woke up on May 23, 2016 and found the front door unlocked, and Hailey was nowhere to be found.
At the time, investigators were not sure if she left on her own or was in distress.
A tip from one of Hailey’s classmates seemed to confirm their fears.
“He told me that my daughter had been talking to a 30-year-old man for over six months who was trying to convince her to talk to him, and saying that he would be her friend and she could come to him,” Anthony Burns, Hailey’s father, said.
For more than a year, investigators received no tips about Hailey’s whereabouts until her family received a message on social media.
A woman from Romania told her family that she had spoken with Hailey online and had a picture of the house where she was staying.
Investigators found Hailey alive in Duluth, Georgia where she was being held by 31-year-old Michael Ren Wysolovski.
“(He) got her in the car, brought her straight to his house and she pretty much had to stay there the whole time,” Shaunna Burns said.
Wysolovski was taken into custody and is facing an array of state charges.