Pennsylvania teenager who ran away with a 45-year-old family friend to Mexico earlier this year has runaway again, this time from a local youth program along with two other at-risk teen girls
Amy Yu, 16, of Allentown, fled VisionQuest in Greene Township, an at-risk youth facility in Franklin County, with Nicole Richard, 17, and Ajah Linares, 16
Police are now searching for the three teenage runaways, asking anyone with information about the girls to get in touch
On March 1 Yu played hooky from school and left for Mexico with Kevin Esterly, 45, a member of her church congregation and father of one of her friends
Investigators found that Yu changed school documents to list the Esterly as her step-father, and he signed her out of school 10 times between Nov 13, 2017 and Feb 9, 2018
The pair were taken into custody on March 17 in the Mexican resort town of Playa del Carmen and shipped back to the U.S.
Yu reunited with her family, right away
Easterly was extradited back to Pennsylvania, and is facing child custody interference and corruption of a minor charges
They left in a car headed in an unknown direction at around 1am. Police are now searching for the teens and are asking anyone who sees the girls to get in touch.
Amy Yu, [photo] of Allentown, fled VisionQuest in Greene Township, an at-risk youth facility in Franklin County, with two other girls early Monday
Allentown Assistant Police Chief Gail Struss says his department was advised of Yu’s disappearance in case she tries to return to the city.
Yu was found in Mexico with Kevin Esterly, 45, after her first disappearance on March 17. Federal agents found them in the resort area of Playa del Carmen.
Yu was brought back to Pennsylvania, and taken to St. Luke’s hospital after the ordeal, while Esterly was arrested on child custody interference and corruption of minors charges. He remains in Lehigh County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Mexican authorities had issued an Amber Alert for Yu after she and Easterly vanished on March 5.
Mexican federal police found the pair on March 17 in the Mexican resort town of Playa del Carmen
Police say she went willingly with Esterly, who had posed as her stepfather and repeatedly signed her out of school.
Yu’s family previously said the two met at church years ago, as Amy is friends with one of Esterly’s four daughters.
Esterly and Yu had gotten so close she often went on his family’s vacations and the older man had often come to her home for meals, her mother Mia Luu said.
Yu changed school documents to list the older man as her step-father, and he signed her out of school 10 times between November 13 and February 9, police said.
Her mother discovered the deception when she came to get the girl from school on February 9 and found that Esterly had already signed her out. The furious mom warned him to stay away from the teen.
Before fleeing town with the girl, Esterly withdrew $4,000 from his joint bank accounts with wife Stacey.
Luu discovered after her daughter vanished on March 5 that she had taken some of jewelry, her passport and cash.
When the pair disappeared, police were immediately suspicious. A warrant for Esterly’s arrest was issued on March 7.
Esterly was transported by US Marshals to Miami. He was later extradited to Pennsylvania.
Esterly had reportedly been trying to call his wife Stacy – who refused all of his calls, her attorney told CBS News.
‘Stacey is happy that Amy is home and that Kevin is in custody,’ attorney John Waldron said in a statement.
Under Pennsylvania law, a person commits the crime of interference with the custody of a child if they knowingly take a child under the age of 18 away from their legal parent or guardian.
Stacey Esterly [left], is planning on divorcing her pedophile husband Kevin Esterly, [right] who is facing prosecution after his Mexican junket with Amy Yu
Esterly’s wife Stacey told cops he took $4,000 from their accounts before fleeing.
However, if the child is at least 14 years old and goes with the person willingly, and the defendant had no intention of committing a criminal act with the child, that could lead to acquittal, Joachim said.
Since the age of consent is 16 in Pennsylvania and 12 in Mexico, sexual acts between the two wouldn’t necessarily be criminal.
However, if Esterly gave the girl alcohol that could open up additional charges of corrupting the morals of a minor or endangering the welfare of a child, experts said.
While Esterly is behind bars, his wife Stacey is working full time to support their four daughters.
‘She is committed to making every effort to see her children through this situation as best as possible and maintain a sense of stability for them,’ her attorney said.
She has also announced she is filing for divorce.