Missing Allentown Teen Back Home; Mom Speaks to Newswatch 16

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Investigators say Amy Yu, 16, and Kevin Esterly, 45, took off on March 5, leaving the Allentown area for Mexico where they were discovered this weekend.

"I hope he's in jail forever!" Amy's mother, Miu Luu says Esterly was obsessed with her daughter.

"Kevin with her, is a long time together before Amy was 16 years old. Amy's 8-years-old and goes to his house a lot of times. I have pictures of them, the families together. I can't believe Kevin would do that,” said Luu.

Amy and Esterly first met through church nearly a decade ago, according to family members.

Investigators say Amy was friendly with Esterly's oldest daughter.

He has four children, all daughters.

In recent years, Amy's mother says things became inappropriate.

Esterly reportedly rented an apartment near Amy's Allentown home and on 10 occasions, signed her out of her charter school in Bethlehem, pretending to be her step-father.

"That day, the police talked to Kevin. They said, 'You have no more contact.' So he's angry because I called the police,” said Luu.

Amy's mother showed Newswatch 16 text messages on her phone, which she says were from Kevin before he and Amy ran away.

One read, in part: "She is just a kid and the funny thing is at one point in her life, you were doing the right thing, you gave up when it got a little tough and I started to fix that kid and you guys made me stop for no reason."

An attorney for the Esterly family says Esterly's wife learned of the relationship and was furious. She was ready to go to police when she says Esterly took off with Amy.

The story grabbed national attention.

"I have a 12-year-old daughter. I couldn't fathom. I'm 46. It just doesn’t make sense. There's something wrong with him,” said Thomas Canon of Allentown.

"I have a daughter of my own, and it just, it's scary. You don't know who to trust. It's sad. I'm glad she's home and safe,” said Saul Vachier of Allentown.

Esterly is being held in Florida and told a judge he wants to return to Pennsylvania.

As for Amy, her mother says Kevin Esterly poisoned her mind, and Amy does not want to return home, so she was briefly hospitalized and is now in a place that can help her with mental health care and other interventions.

"She doesn't want to go in the house. She doesn't want to see me. I go to the hospital. The nurse says she doesn't want to see anybody,” said Luu.

There is no word when Esterly will be brought back to the Allentown area.

The Esterly family attorney said Esterly's wife is in the process of filing for divorce.

6 comments

  • Dana Smith

    Conditioned victim , 16 is legal if she wants , but the prior history is the crime here and that’s what is finally showing , surprised they didn’t go to Bama to get married so she couldn’t testify (oops he is married) .

  • Emma Hogg

    Glad the girl is “safe,” but the circumstances leading up to this girl’s disappearing with Esterly are pretty glaring. In this day and age, one cannot simply “sign out” a child from school on 13 occasions without falling under scrutiny. Surely, the mother would have been contacted by someone from the school. There’s so much more to this story than what appears on the surface. And, another example of why kids shouldn’t have cell phones.

  • aleodawg94

    How in the hell does a stranger sign a student out of school 10 times? Maybe WNEP you need to find out what school this is, and maybe warn other parents that the security at this school is not in your childs favor. I’m not saying what this guy did is right, and he needs to pay. I am going to go out on a limb and say there is a lot more to this story.

    • Sue Phillips

      The story DID say he is not a total stranger ya dip. He went in there claiming to be her stepfather which, yes, the school should have been aware that wasn’t true.

      • aleodawg94

        He knows the family. That doesn’t mean the school knows him you DIP. He is a stranger to the school. The school system failed this child on multiple occasions you DIP.

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