Yu’s mom speaks with The Press
Runaway teen Amy Yu, 16, has been returned to her mother, Mui T. Luu, and brother, John Yu, in Allentown.
Yu ran away on March 5 with Kevin Esterly, 45, of Lowhill Township.
He is awaiting extradition back to Allentown from Miami, Fla.
Luu spoke to The Press at her home on March 19 about her daughter’s return.
Her minister sat close by during the interview.
“I am very happy she is home safe and I know where she is,” Luu said.
“John is very happy Amy is back home.”
Luu said Yu was brought home by Allentown police 4 a.m. on March 18.
“Amy refused to come in the house and was taken by police to St. Luke’s Hospital,” Luu said. “She is very unsettled. She was taken Sunday night to KidsPeace after spending the day at St. Luke’s. I don’t know how long Amy will be at KidsPeace.”
KidsPeace, located in North Whitehall and Fountain Hill, serves the behavioral and mental health needs of children.
KidsPeace has a psychiatric hospital and offers a range of residential treatment programs.
“I am very grateful to everyone who helped find Amy,” she said. “I am also very thankful to all the media who reported on Amy’s disappearance. I am especially thankful to the Allentown Police Department.”
Luu said she had wondered if it was normal for her daughter to call Esterly “daddy” and that Esterly had allegedly told her that her daughter was just following what his own kids called him.
Yu has not seen her biological father, who lives in China, since she was 2 years old.
Luu, who said her daughter turned 16 this past December, alleges Esterly signed permission papers for Yu to get her learner’s permit to drive.
Luu said Esterly asked her to sign the papers and she refused saying her daughter was too young to start driving.
The anger Luu has toward Esterly was almost palpable during the interview.
Yu and Esterly were found March 17 by agents from Homeland Security Investigations, Policia Federal Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit and the United States Marshals Service in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Esterly was taken into custody by Mexican authorities.
The two families met through Esterly’s children at church.
On Feb. 8, Luu, reported her daughter had been signed out of school earlier in the day by Esterly without her permission.
Both Esterly and his wife, Stacey, were advised on Feb. 15 to stay away from Luu’s home because she did not want them to have contact with her daughter.
Between Nov. 13, 2017, and Feb. 9 Esterly allegedly signed Yu out of school 10 times, which Luu never gave him permission to do.
On March 5, Luu reported her daughter as a runaway and said she was last seen at 7:09 a.m. that same day in the area of N. 15th and W. Allen Sts., Allentown.
Yu and Esterly were returned to the United States March 17 via Miami, Fla., by Homeland Security Investigations agents and deputies with the U.S. Marshal Service.