I got her to the Emergency Room at the hospital nearest to the treatment center in suburban Chicago and she was admitted. It took a few hours and then she was admitted to the detox center across the parking lot. She got settled in there and I stayed the night with my college roommate that lived in Chicago and flew back to Minneapolis the next morning.

My daughter is so smart and talented that she got discharged from detox ahead of schedule and before a bed was ready at the rehab place. My college roommate said Avery could stay with her for the few days until she was admitted to the recovery center.  She helped with a garage sale, ran errands and playeded with kids while staying with my college roommate.  One day, Avery said she wanted to go to downtown Chicago to see her Grandparents that happened to be in town. She left with just her purse (no cell phone or clothes) and never came back.

The guy that she had been seeing in Minneapolis, who had a warrant for his arrest after his 3rd DUI, took the megabus to Chicago and met Avery downtown. The two of them lived in the woods by the O'Hare airport for weeks. I only found this out because the mother of the guy had called me because she was worried about them. Avery did not have a cell phone, so the only way I knew she was still alive was if the mom called me with an update, or sometimes Matt* would call me when they were really messed up to tell me he was taking care of Avery. They ended up taking Greyhound busses all over the United States: Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and ending up in Las Vegas. During that time, I was not able to get ahold of Avery, and every time the phone rang, I would wonder if this was the call from the police saying they had found Avery's body. In a later conversation, Avery would confirm that was, in fact, what I should have been waiting for.

The few times that I was able to talk to her, I just told her I loved her and wanted her to come home. I kept asking her to sneak away and escape from Matt*, because in my mind he was keeping her there against her will and was a bad influence on her. I thought that if he would just leave her alone, she would be ok.

*not his real name