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Police: Man heading west with teen

California issues Amber Alert for 14-year-old Michigan girl

Lindsey Ryan, 14, has been missing since Saturday.
Lindsey Ryan, 14, has been missing since Saturday.

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A 14-year-old girl who police believe was abducted by a convicted killer she met at church is still alive and is heading West with the man. CNN's Jeff Flock reports (March 5)
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JONES, Michigan (CNN) -- A 14-year-old girl who police believe was abducted last weekend by a convicted killer she met at church is still alive and is heading west with the man, authorities said Tuesday.

Lindsey Ryan's blonde hair has been dyed black, according to witnesses who said they saw the pair traveling west on Interstate 80 through Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.

An Amber Alert has been issued in California, according to the sheriff's office in Cass County, Michigan. Amber Alert is an emergency system to distribute information quickly on radio, television, the Internet and electronic traffic signs when a child under 18 is missing.

At an emotional news conference Tuesday, Lindsey's parents pleaded for their daughter to return and for the suspect in the abduction, Terry Drake, 56, to bring her back.

"Terry, no matter what I think of you, I'm just glad that you've kept her alive," said the girl's mother, Carol Ryan.

"This is just not going to be a good thing whatsoever, so Terry, drop her off anywhere -- church, police station, anywhere," father Patrick Ryan said.

Lindsey and Drake are believed to be traveling in a white 1995 Dodge Dakota extended-cab pickup with an Indiana license plate.

Drake, of Middlebury, Indiana, was last seen wearing a coat with blocks of white, orange, and black. Police said he stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and has a number of tattoos on his neck, forearms and elsewhere on his body.

Lindsey, who is 5 feet tall and has braces, was last seen wearing a black coat with white writing on it, police said.

"I pray that you're not afraid, and I pray that you're safe and warm every night," Carol Ryan said in a tearful message to her daughter. "I want you to be strong, I want you to get away if you can, and I want you to come home."

Lindsey was discovered missing early Saturday when her mother went to wake her in her first-floor bedroom and found the door locked. After Ryan's father broke down the door, the parents saw that the window was open and that Lindsey was gone.

Police say Terry Drake stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and has a number of tattoos.
Police say Terry Drake stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and has a number of tattoos.

Cash and firearms were also missing from the home, her aunt, Catherine Nichols, told CNN. A computer's hard drive had also been erased, she said.

Two 14-year-old friends of Lindsey's have since revealed that Lindsey was carrying on an e-mail relationship with Drake, whom the family met through their church, Nichols said.

Although unsure how long the two were corresponding, relatives said the relationship was at least several weeks old, and that a diary and notes in Lindsey's room mentioned Drake.

Monday night, Carol Ryan said it was clear that Lindsey consented to leave the house. "We just don't know if she's staying [with Drake] with consent," she said.

The FBI is involved in the investigation, sheriff's officials said.

Drake pleaded guilty to killing a woman in 1978, a crime for which he served 12 years, according to the sheriff's office.

Lindsey has five brothers, ranging in age from 3 to 18. At the news conference Tuesday, one of the younger boys held up his sister's smiling picture, so large it nearly obscured his head.

Lindsey's mother said she was shocked to discover that her daughter had a relationship with Drake because the family is so close. Carol Ryan home-schools her six children. The computer Lindsey used to correspond with Drake was in the middle of the living room, and its Internet access was closely monitored.

Lindsey's friends now feel guilty for not revealing her Internet relationship sooner, her mother said. "They thought it was something that 14-year-old girls could handle."

"This is an incredible experience. It does not make sense," Carol Ryan said. "I also ask anybody in this nation that sees those people to please -- don't wait until the morning. You get to a phone within seconds and call [the police] so that we can settle this and bring them home safely."

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