Missing teen thanks supporters after returning home
Published Monday, April 23, 2012 10:28PM EDT
Standing back in front of her North York home, Toronto teen Michelle Yu said thank you to her family, friends and media, after her disappearance prompted a city-wide search last week.
Yu, 18, went missing Tuesday, April 17, without telling anyone.
She finally made contact with her family over the weekend, telling them she was in Vancouver.
Yu read a brief statement to media Monday at 10 p.m., thanking the volunteers who searched for her.
"To the media, my friends and my family, thank you for all your well wishes, your concerns and all your prayers and your love and your support," Yu said. "I'd also like to thank the police at 33 Division. Your kindness, from everybody, has shown me how much I am really loved and, from the bottom of my heart, I'm so sorry for putting everybody through this. I'm just so happy to be at home with my family and my parents, my friends, I'm so glad to be back."
Yu's mother and father flanked her as she spoke, her father, Wei, saying thank you as well.
"We're really happy, and we thank you, everybody," he said.
Detectives spoke to the Yu family earlier Monday evening and said that the case was now officially closed.
Yu's disappearance prompted a wave of concerned public appeals from her mother, father, sister, friends and teachers.
The news that Yu had reached out to her family over the weekend came from a Facebook post.
"We are ecstatic to let you know that contact has been made with Michelle. She is safe," reads the post on the Facebook page dedicated to finding the 18-year-old. "The family requests that you respect their privacy at this time."
According to the family, Yu left the province after disappearing last Tuesday.
Yu was last seen in North York Tuesday afternoon.
A surveillance camera captured the teen withdrawing money from a TD bank on Bay Street later that day.
Clara Williams, principal York Mills Collegiate, said the school was thrilled to hear the Yu had made contact and was safe.
"Students are euphoric this morning. All her friends came in with the great news," Williams told CP24 on Monday. "It is the first time I have seen them smile in a week. Her teachers are certainly very happy to hear the news. But I must say that we will be much happier to see her, if she is coming back to class."