Missing teen from Ballantyne found alive in Georgia, man in cust - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Missing teen from Ballantyne found alive in Georgia, man in custody

16-year-old Hailey Burns. (Photo provided by family) 16-year-old Hailey Burns. (Photo provided by family)
(Mugshot provided to CBS46 courtesy of Gwinnett County Police Department) (Mugshot provided to CBS46 courtesy of Gwinnett County Police Department)

A 17-year-old girl who went missing from the Ballantyne area more than a year ago was found alive in Georgia.

Hailey Burns vanished from her home in Ballantyne in May 2016.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a Charlotte special agent received information that Burns was in the Atlanta area. The FBI said Burns was found at a home on Seneca Trail in Duluth, Georgia.

Sources say Hailey contacted a woman from Romanian online and told her she was missing. The woman then contacted Hailey's parents.

Officials said 31-year-old Michael Ren Wysoloyski was taken into custody in Georgia. Wysoloyski is facing a number of state charges, a spokesperson with the FBI said. Wysoloyski made his first court appearance Monday.

Wysoloyski was charged with false imprisonment, sodomy/aggravated sodomy, interference with custody, and cruelty to children involving first-degree deprivation.

Hailey's mother, Shaunna Burns, describes the homecoming as euphoric. She tells all parents with missing children not to give up.

The mother says her husband didn't sleep much the first night. He went into Hailey's room every 15 minutes to check on her to see if she was still there.

"It's rare - it is one of those situations that I think nobody ever really wants to talk about," neighbor Brittany Hayes said. "This is usually an outcome you don't usually see, so it's absolutely amazing."

Neighbors stood by the Burns family and tied yellow ribbons on their mailboxes to show their support.

"We've done little things to try and show our support and love for them," Hayes said. "The yellow ribbon on our mailbox, and just wanting to talk if they were out and wanted to talk to us or tell us stories about Hailey."

The FBI says the investigation is far from over.

"They are going to continue to uncover the truth eventually," FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jason Kaplan said. "We'll work with our prosecuting team to determine the best way to move forward."

The agency spent several thousand hours on the case and chased several hundred leads. Kaplan says finding Hailey did something for the agency.

"It's the same thing that motivates us everyday," Kaplan said. "Even when all hope seems lost, for us to continue pushing forward with our investigations - because you just never know until you get that call."

The FBI wouldn't say if Hailey met her alleged abductor online, but agents are giving advice about the dangers of the Internet.

"Unfortunately there are many, many people out there who are targeting children," Kaplan said. "And they are using platforms online to target them. Having an awareness of what your children are involved with - who they are communicating with regularly - is very important to make sure this doesn't happen to them."

In 2016, Burns' father said she left a diary behind that detailed a plan to run away with a 32-year-old man she met online.

PREVIOUS: Family fears missing Ballantyne teen ran off with older man she met online

“He gradually wormed his way into her good graces, he coerced her into listening to him and not following our directions and the next thing I knew my daughter wasn’t communicating with me,” the father said.

Family members said Burns has Asperger Syndrome.

Wysoloyski's next court appearance is in July.

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly