A Wausau, Wis., family may get an emotional Christmas gift this year: the return of their daughter and sister who's been missing for more than nine years. Connie McCallister, now 26, disappeared when she was 16 after she went to a party with her boyfriend, then 22, in 2004. McCallister "called her sister and said, 'He won't bring me back,' and that's the last anyone heard from her, until Sept. 15," a family friend tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. That's when a church missionary stumbled upon McCallister, safe in Mexico with a husband and three children, living under a new identity.
"We have confirmed, through conversations on Skype, that this is really Connie, and she did ask for help in getting home," police tell the Wausau Daily Herald. "But she won't come back without her children." McCallister escaped the boyfriend and "began working in the fields" before meeting her current husband, who she hopes will join her and the kids in the US, reports the Journal-Sentinel, which adds the move could happen as soon as Christmas. The US Consulate is working with McCallister to gather the needed documents, while Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens is raising money. "We just want to get her home," the family friend said. "Not many families can have this happy ending."