Culture

Mother of missing teen pleads for her safe return

The mother of the Allentown teenager believed to have run off with a 45-year-old married man pleaded for her daughter's safe return in an interview on national television this week. "I don't care if you took some money and jewelry from me. If you're out of money, please come home".

Their disappearance on March 5 came almost a month after Luu discovered her daughter was having what police described as a "secretive relationship" with Esterly.

Luu says she also found text messages that suggested Esterly was romantically involved with her daughter, who is 16 - the age of consent in Pennsylvania.

Esterly, who is married and has children, was listed as Yu's stepfather on school records, according to the Morning Call, citing Colonial Regional police, who couldn't immediately be reached Tuesday morning.

But the school has been an active participant in the investigation, she said.

John Yu, Amy's younger brother, last saw her at the bus stop. On Tuesday, Allentown police again said they are attempting to locate Esterly's vehicle, a red, 1999 two-door Honda Accord with the license plate KTL0529, which they believe may be in the Philadelphia area.

Esterly signed out Yu from Lehigh Valley Academy 10 times between November 12 and February 9 without her parents' permission, authorities said. She said she would often ask Esterly to include her son on their family trips, but he refused.

Kevin Esterly, of the 3000 block of Highland Road, is charged with interference with the custody of children, according to Lehigh County district court records. Easterly and Yu are in a "secretive relationship", according to published reports.

The 45-year-old is allegedly in a relationship with the high school student. Police discovered he had picked her up from school at least 10 times without her mother's permission.

Police were to be notified if he returned to the school, she wrote in an email. Esterly is described as a 5-foot-9, 185-pound white male. She declined to comment further on the circumstances that enabled Esterly to take Yu from the school. The auto may be parked in the Philadelphia area, police said.

On his Facebook page, Esterly often posted pictures of Yu hanging out with his own daughters. Both citations carry a $300 fine.

Allentown Police Chief Glen Dorney told the Allentown Morning Call on Monday they are still investigating the case, and that authorities believe Yu and Esterly are together and aware that police are looking for them. Esterly's wife told investigators he withdrew about $4,000 from his wife's bank account that same day.



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