Houston's KHOU-TV tells the story of Beth Robinson, a 13-year-old girl who lives in Houston and enjoys playing games on her Xbox 360. Beth befriended 12 year-old Dylan, a fellow gamer from Hodgenville, Kentucky. The two would spend hours playing games and hanging out together over the system's Xbox Live online service.
But what started off as a harmless teenage crush turned into a three-day nightmare for the Robinson family.
Upset after her father took away the Xbox, Beth grabbed the keys to her brother's 2011 Nissan Versa, swiped her mother's ATM card and headed out to meet Dylan. In Kentucky. That's a good 1,000 miles away.
Beth had left a note with her parents, mentioning bullies and suicide before disappearing. Her father Robbie headed out to track her down, but it wasn't until her credit card was declined at a gas station in Hope, Arkansas that he got a lead.
Amazingly, Beth made it all the way up to Nashville, Tennessee before she was stopped by a state trooper who had been alerted that she might be passing through.
"He's our hero," Beth's mom, Tressa Robinson, said.
Authorities are not pressing charges, though Harris County Sheriff Office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland was pretty flabbergasted that the teen didn't have more problems during the drive.
"It's amazing she was able to manipulate the roadways," he told the Houston Chronicle.
Beth has since returned home to an outpouring of love and support from her friends and family. Some sort of punishment is in the works, Beth's parents says, but for now they're just happy to have their daughter back safe and sound.
"Hug your child," Robbie Robinson said. "Hug your kid every day. Tell them you love them. Talk to them. Ask them if there's anything you can do. I have to start doing that more."
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