It seemed like such a normal activity – a 16-year old girl riding her bike to a friend’s house one afternoon. But by that evening, the girl had not called her parents as promised. And her phone was shut off.
Maureen and David Toal knew that their daughter and the friend she had visited were missing – and life became anything but normal. After the parents spent hours calling friends, family and neighbors, meeting with police and even hiring a private investigator, Maureen and David were no closer to finding their daughter than they were on the Friday
afternoon she left.
“We knew the police were treating her like a runaway and they just weren’t doing much,” Maureen, whose daughter’s first name is being withheld for safety reasons, tells PEOPLE. “We were trying to do all we could ourselves, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. You could go broke hiring people to help you and still not find anything.”