Anissa Weier, now 15, is one of the two girls accused of stabbing a friend 19 times in a 2014 attack that, the girls said, was an attempt to get in the good graces of "Slender Man," a fictional internet character. Her parents say that while they knew their daughter spent a lot of time on the internet, and they were aware of the character, they didn't realize Anissa—12 at the time of the attack—believed he was real. "It was really kind of surreal from the time I got the phone call to the time that we realized there were more things going on than what we were initially led to believe," Bill Weier tells Good Morning America. "I think surreal is the best way to describe it." Wife Kristi adds that, during the interrogation, it became clear her daughter and fellow suspect Morgan Geyser "thoroughly believed Slender Man was real," but says she and her husband had no idea of that. "She was just ... typical," Kristi Weier says of her daughter.
Both parents say Anissa is "absolutely" remorseful about the attack. "We did not raise her to do this action," Kristi tells People. "I cry practically ever day since the incident." "We do not know 'why'" it happened, Bill adds to People. The Weiers took part in an HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman, debuting next Monday, that looks at juvenile brain development in an attempt to uncover why the girls allegedly attacked Payton Leutner; Kristi Weier says she hopes it helps other parents to be aware of what their kids are looking at online. And to the parents of Payton (who, a 2015 People article noted, was still dealing with the aftereffects of the "emotional trauma" she endured), Bill Weier says he's sorry, and adds, "for as much as they are struggling with trying to process this and what happened to their daughter, we are struggling, equally, trying to process this with what happened not only to their daughter but to our daughter." (Click for an in-depth look at the friendship between the three girls.)