Lily Christopherson, the Bonney Lake teenager who disappeared at the beginning of May, was found over the weekend.
Details are scarce, but the Bonney Lake Police Department reported via Twitter she was found by Puyallup police Sunday, June 3, after a passerby spotted her at a bus stop in the 1700 block of South Meridian.
Officer Daron Wolschleger gave a little more information at a press event on Monday, May 4 with Supervisor Deputy Mike Lee of the U.S. Marshal Service.
“First of all, we’d like to say that we are very excited about Lily’s safe recovery and return to her family,” Wolschleger said, adding that when Christopherson was found, her appearance had been changed, she was alone, and was aware of the “massive effort to locate her and bring her home safely.”
Wolschleger asked the public to continue calling in if they have more information about what happened over the last month, and emphasized “the importance of monitoring your child’s online social media activity.”
Christopherson’s recovery is the latest development in an eventful month, which started with her disappearance on May 9.
Three people involved in the incident have been arrested so far, including Christopher Fitzpatrick, 39, and Maria Counts, 29.
According to court documents, Christopherson met up with Fitzpatrick and Counts in Federal Way on May 9.
She was accompanied by Alex Thueringer, who after leaving Christopherson, was picked up by police on May 20 and helped identify Fitzpatrick, who was convicted of third degree assault with sexual motivation in 2004, and was also wanted for violating his probation and failing to register as a sex offender.
A former partner and mother of Fitzpatrick’s children told police on May 24 she had recently been in contact with him and told police he was staying in a trailer near Millersyvania State Park, near Tenino.
Officers eventually found the trailer and discovered evidence Christopherson was there, but neither she nor Fitzpatrick were present.
Also on May 24, police were able to identify and follow Counts at a motel in Tumwater.
She was taken into custody and told Bonney Lake officers she left Fitzpatrick because “he was more interested in Christopherson than in her,” court documents read.
Counts claimed she didn’t know Christopherson was underage, though several times referred to her as 17 years old.
Counts agreed to let officers search her phone, and they found messages allegedly confirming Fitzpatrick and Counts were promoting sex with Christopherson.
On May 26, officers learned Fitzpatrick was in a residence in Lakewood, Washington, but when he was arrested, Christopherson was not there.
Fitzpatrick and Counts are charged with kidnapping in the first degree with sexual motivation, promoting the sexual abuse of a minor, and multiple charges for rape of a child in the third degree against Christopherson, among other drug charges and sexual offenses.
Fitzpatrick tried to hang himself from the shower door at the Pierce County Jail a few hours after his arraignment. Sheriff’s Department spokesman Detective Ed Troyer said in a release a corrections officer stopped Fitzpatrick, who was taken to a hospital.
He is expected to recover and stand trial in July.
Fitzpatrick is held on a $2 million bail; Counts is held on a $500,000 bail.
A third man, William Kent Pittman, 34, was arrested May 31 in connection with Christopherson’s disappearance, and is being charged with child rape in the third degree and for forgery in another case.
He was arraigned Monday, June 4, after print deadline.