PLANO, Texas - A North Texas family is sharing an eye-opening story about a seemingly well-adjusted teenager. She planned to leave home and move overseas to marry a stranger she met online.
The Baldwin family’s new book is called “Almost Gone… 25 Days and One Chance to Save Our Daughter.”
It details how their then 18-year-old daughter Mackenzie was seduced by a man she met in an internet chatroom. She saved up her money and planned to fly to Kosovo as soon as she graduated from Plano West Senior High School.
The teen thought she was in love. She converted to Islam and planned to marry the man she knew as Aadam.
Mackenzie’s parents noticed their daughter acting differently but had no idea what was going on or how serious it really was.
It wasn’t until one of Mackenzie’s friends learned of her plane to leave the country that they found out. That one friend told her parents who called Mackenzie’s dad.
“We’d been treating this that she was a rebellious teenager. Then we realized she was a victim and was being manipulated and she was in danger,” said John Baldwin, Mackenzie’s father.
“The FBI realized this was, in fact, a dangerous situation and got involved all without me knowing,” Makenzie said.
Her parents and the FBI staged an intervention on her last day of school, just three days before she planned to leave for good.
Investigators believe the family helped save her from a possible citizenship fraud scam, kidnapping or even organ harvesting. But they said the most likely scenario was human sex trafficking.
The Baldwins may never know the man’s true intentions but it’s clear it was a dangerous situation. They hope their story will help to save others.