I received a phone call from Mila this evening. Her daughter Victoria has been found! Mila described Victoria’s appearance as “skin and bones, like she was held in a concentration camp.” She was found with nothing but the clothes she was wearing — no purse, phone, identification, nor money. Her mental state is confused. Victoria won’t talk about where she was or who she was with. She stayed one night with her mother, and for now, is safe in a behavioral health hospital. This is her sixth stay in such a facility.
Mila is determined to move away from Santa Cruz with Victoria, hoping for a fresh start. She also hopes that with patience, her daughter will open up and begin to heal.
The police told Mila that they would not help her find Victoria, because Victoria is an adult and can choose to go incognito. Victoria’s traumatic brain injury and subsequent mental illness were not taken into consideration.
Mila printed copies of the flyer I made for her and took them to ranger stations along Highway 1. The rangers were very kind and eager to help. They took copies of the flyer and distributed and posted them in state park areas. And, Victoria was found and returned to her mother. Mila thanked me profusely and hoped we’d see each other again.
I made sure we would. We’re getting together on Sunday, and there’s a good chance I will get to meet Victoria. I would love to give her a hug.