A dangerous path

A dangerous path

At the writing of my last post, our daughter was on the streets once again, wandering without a healthy fear of what could happen to her.

On the following morning, after our daughter had run away, we received information that our daughter had called law enforcement to "turn herself in" as she often does after running away. Approximately 30 minutes later, a deputy arrived in our driveway with our daughter. She stormed in the house and began throwing things around her room and yelling. We could smell cigarette smoke on her. The deputy told us that she had been smoking when he found her. He also told us the location where she was found, which is approximately 20 miles from our home. She refused to tell law enforcement how she had gotten there, but we know she could only have gone that far by riding with a stranger.

The law enforcement officer said she did not meet the criteria for an involuntary mental health examination. He did advise us to complete a civil document that could be taken to a judge so that the judge could order the mental health examination. The deputy then left and my wife and I began to fill out the document, while our daughter continued yelling and throwing things. A few moments later, she said that she was not going back to a mental health facility, but stated that she would rather go to jail than another residential facility. She then headed towards the back door, my wife told her not to leave the house, her response was "what are you gonna do about it?". She then walked out the back door and slammed the storm door so hard that it came past the door casing and wouldn't open. I watched her as she walked into the woods, I felt frustrated and helpless.

My wife contacted the officer that had left our home just 20 minutes prior and advised him that she was gone again. Approximately 30 minutes later, the officer called and said that he observed her running out in traffic. He said that due to her behavior, running in front of vehicles, he felt it was best if she was taken to the mental health facility for evaluation. He then transported her to the local facility, where she would be held for 72 hours. My wife and I began trying to figure out next steps for when she was released.

The following morning, we received a call from the mental health facility. They advised us that there had been an incident the prior night around 10:30 pm. They said that our daughter had smuggled a lighter into the facility and set her mattress on fire. She also began throwing papers and sheets on the fire increase its intensity. They told us that she had intended for the fire alarm to go off and that the facility would need to be evacuated, at which time she had planned to escape. The fire was put out by staff and there was no evacuation.

A short while later, I received a call from a law enforcement investigator requesting my permission to interview my daughter related to the fire. I gave him permission and waited for his follow up call. A short while later, he called me back and advised me that my daughter was being arrested for Arson of an Occupied Facility, which was a first degree felony. I was at a loss for words, our little girl had just made a decision that would put her on a path that I couldn't save her from. The days and weeks to come would mean she would be in jail, where she would likely pickup negative habits and behaviors and become more hard hearted. My wife and I were heart broken.

The following day, I was advised that she would be in for 21 days and have a court date in 5 weeks to answer for the charges. My wife and I were immediately concerned that if she was allowed to get out in 21 days she would no doubt run away once again, but that this time, we may never see her again. We voiced those concerns to the local State's Attorney and asked if they would assist us in getting her in a residential mental health facility where she could get some help. We are now waiting for them to work towards getting her into a mental health facility.

Lord, please guard our daughters heart. Keep her safe from the evil that is all around her. Lord, protect her from lies of the enemy and remind her that she can look to you for help. Lord, please keep your loving hand on her until we can get her the help she needs. In Jesus name, Amen.