A California teen who disappeared last week was found safe on Thursday morning in a home in Stockton. Her wrestling coach, Phillip Maglaya, who was taken into police custody, according to CBS.
Parents of a California teen who reportedly disappeared with her high school wrestling coach last Wednesday are pleading for her safe return.
ABC reports that Ron Arther, father of 16-year-old student Alexis, told the station that his daughter was on the wrestling team at Franklin High School in Stockton, where she met 25-year-old volunteer coach, Phillip Maglaya. Arther said they knew Maglaya but didn’t initially suspect his was romantically involved with Alexis.
“We knew him. He was like, ‘Yeah, your daughter is a great wrestler — this and that — she’s going to do great next year.”
The teen’s mother, Iris Arther, added that they trusted Maglaya. The volunteer coach is now accused of fleeing with the teen after the school and her parents discovered the pair were having an inappropriate relationship. The mom said her daughter left her a note that asked her not to worry about her, followed later by an email.
“The first page says, ‘I love you Mom and Dad, very much, nothing that you guys did was your fault……On the day that she left she sent us an email at like 4:54 a.m., saying, ‘I’m safe, please don’t worry, I love you guys I’ll keep in touch.”
Ron Arther added that the note also explained that the teen cited being stressed at school for the reason behind leaving.
“We’re just confused — how can you get these [good] grades and then, the third year in, you just want to give up? He [Maglaya] coached her into writing this letter. All the evidence is with the detectives.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s investigators said the pair may be traveling in a 1994 green Toyota extra cab pick-up truck, with California license plate, 8G91493.
Although it’s unclear when the relationship began between Maglaya and the teen, the school district indicated that he passed a background check before he started volunteer coaching. The district is working with law enforcement to help locate the missing girl and Maglaya.
One of the teen’s friends, Brisa Madrigal, a junior at the high school, said she had no idea the girl was seeing Maglaya romantically.
“She mentioned someone, but not that it was a wrestling coach or anything, just someone that she might like. But she never told us who he was, or where he’s from, or anything.”
The teen girl’s family and friends indicated she “left abruptly.”
“This is a father’s worst nightmare,” Ron told ABC. “I mean, I feel so helpless right now.”
Alexus is described as 5-feet-5-inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes. She weighs around 160 pounds.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the pair should contact the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office at 209-468-4400, or its Investigations Unit at 209-468-4425.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Alexus; Phillip Maglaya/San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office]