Connie McCallister, the Wisconsin native who went missing nine years ago at the age of 17, was found living in Mexico.

McCallister’s whereabouts were discovered back in September through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. A missionary at McCallister’s church with whom she had confided in about her story contacted the National Center. Now that her identity has been revealed, McCallister is looking to make her way back home.

On Aug. 15, 2004, McCallister had been at a party in Milwaukee with her 22-year-old boyfriend. During the car ride, McCallister called her sister to tell her the boyfriend wouldn’t bring her home. He then allegedly drugged and beat her. McCallister eventually found another boyfriend who was similarly abusive and with whom she had a child. She’s currently married and has two children with her husband.

There will be a fundraiser at Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Athens, Wis., to raise money for McCallister’s relocation to the U.S. with her three children.

"We want to use this as an example for families with missing relatives to never give up hope," family friend Judy Weise told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We're just so excited because this story will be a happy one," Weise told the Journal Sentinel. "Not many families can have this happy ending."

– Chelsea Regan

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