Danica Paulsen, 15, who disappeared from her home in Pueblo, Colo., early in October, was reunited with her family Thursday. According to Roswell Police Department spokeswoman Sabrina Morales, she told the police that it was after her picture appeared in the newspaper that she decided it was time to return home.
Danica’s father Doug Paulsen spoke with the Daily Record, Tuesday, about his reactions after she vanished and then later when she was returned. “We hadn’t heard anything about her for the first three weeks.. … We had no idea where she was. We were scared every time we heard about a body found somewhere. For all we knew she was lying in a ditch some place,” he said.
The disappearance of his daughter has left him exhausted. “There have been a lot of sleepless nights. As a matter of fact, I was heading to New Mexico to look for her myself when I heard from the Roswell Police Department.
“I can’t say enough good things about the Roswell Police Department,” Paulsen said. He had particular praise for Chief Al Solis, who assigned a detective to the case as soon as he received Paulsen’s e-mail, and for the detective assigned, Lisa Brackeen.
The family is happy to be reunited with their daughter, although Paulsen admits they have problems to address. “I’m very relieved. My wife and her little sister are estatic to have her back again.”
Paulsen had advice for any parents facing this difficult situation. “My advice would be never give up. Never stop looking. After it happens, just continually search. Work closely with the police. Get your child registered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as quickly as possible.”
About the media, Paulsen said, “I’m extremely thankful for the press release the police sent out. You folks have been a tremendous help in getting the word out. The media were the straw that broke the camel’s back. After it appeared in the paper, the Roswell police received other phone calls from people who thought they had seen her.”
Their next goal is to try to heal. “We will be going to family counseling to resolve the issues that caused her to leave in the first place,” he said.