Parents Think Missing Teen was Brainwashed

Fox News/December 18, 2002

Cincinnati, Ohio -- The parents of a runaway child in Bridgetown say their daughter was brainwashed on the Internet by radical animal rights groups, and the girl became so obsessed, she ran away to join their cause.

The Wilson family says it was like a drug addiction - radical animals rights ideas literally took over their daughter's life. She ran away on December 6th. But the Wilson's say their daughter was emotionally and mentally gone long before. Stephanie Wilson, 16, loves animal, but when she started to visit certain websites, her parents say things changed. "It turned from a love of animals to a hate for humans."

She spent more and more time viewing disturbing images of animal cruelty, and chatting with animal rights activists. Phone calls would come to the house. Over time, it became Stephie's life. "She couldn't function at school, function at home."

"We found her name listed as the chairperson of one of these organizations. She was 15-years-old until October." Stephie kept an on-line journal illustrating her hatred for people. "There was such a draw, the consistent information."

A neighbor saw a strange woman helping Stephie run away on December 6th, when her parents were at work. They took every picture of Stephanie's face, erased phone-numbers from caller I.D. and ripped the hard drive from the computer. The last thing Stephie wrote in her journal "Trust me, I will update you in a few days. Much love, Steph."

"It's an obsession... it's cult like." Some of the groups Stephanie was involved with are. Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty or S.H.A.C., The Animal Liberation Front or A.L.F. and Earth First. The Wilson's were contacted by America's Most Wanted. They're going to New York to tell their story nationally on Thursday. If you have any information, call the Hamilton County Sheriff's office at 513-825-1500 and ask for Detective Riley.

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