An Abbotsford dad is relieved that his daughter has turned up safe, but is worried about what might have happened to her while she was missing for nine days.
“I have to figure out how to make it up to her,” Ron Hanefeld said today (Monday) of 16-year-old daughter, Stephanie Neumann.
He said he blames himself for anything bad that might have happened to the teen, who left the home on April 28, apparently to meet up with a drifter that had stayed with the family for six months.
Hanefeld befriended the 35-year-old man, who was hitchhiking last September, and invited him to live at the family’s home while he got back on his feet.
The man left the home on April 17. He was checked by police in Victoria on April 21 and in Nanaimo on May 3, and was alone.
Stephanie turned herself in to police in Nanaimo on Saturday afternoon, and Const. Ian MacDonald said authorities in Abbotsford are still trying to piece together what happened after she left her home.
It is not known how long she might have been with the man and where the two stayed, although MacDonald said she didn’t appear to have been living outdoors.
The teen and the drifter both said they had no contact with each other, but happened to be in the same city on Vancouver Island at the same time.
“Hopefully, we’ll get closer to the truth as distance is created between them,” MacDonald said.
He said it’s likely the two were together and Stephanie turned herself in due to the media attention on the case.
She is not yet back with her family, but Hanefeld said they hope to see her later this week.
“I miss her like crazy. I wish I could just apologize to her,” he said.