Imagine the terror you would feel if your teenage daughter didn't return home from school. Imagine how much that terror would intensify when you found out she was half a world away with a convicted killer, 23 years her senior.
That was a reality for Sydney parents whose daughter was found in the basement of an American man's house last week.
Sean Price, 39, has a long criminal history, including negligent homicide. He is now facing up to 10 years in prison, following luring the teenage girl from Sydney to the U.S. for sex.
Price reportedly groomed the 16-year-old for months after meeting her on the social media platform, Snapchat, last October.
In December, he sent her around $2150 and a few months later was soliciting and receiving naked pictures of the underage girl, reports News.com.au.
The teen suffers from an anxiety disorder and was having family problems when she met Price online, police say.
Her parents reported her missing on April 11th, when she didn't return to her family home in Lindfield.
The teen had flown to L.A. to meet Price, who hired a car and drove them from California to New York. He admitted to having sex with her several times over the course of the journey.
Last week, authorities tracked the pair down at Price's mother's house in Brooklyn, NY. When his mother answered the door, Price and the girl tried to flee out the back, with police finding them hiding in the basement.
Price, who already had 11 convictions, has now been charged with a range of new offences, including rape in the third degree, SMH reports. He was denied bail.
The teen has now returned to Sydney.
This article first appeared on Marie Claire.