CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) - The Orange County father who tied up his daughter and gagged her in an attempt to force her into drug rehab in Mexico could face charges.
California Highway Patrol officers pulled over the car Monday night on Interstate 5 off of Cannon Road in Carlsbad after getting calls from drivers about a possible kidnapping.
"Received a report of a woman bound and gagged in the back seat, kidnapped essentially," said CHP Sgt. Mike Morrin.
The 17-year-old girl was with her 57-year-old father and 21-year old sister.
According to the CHP, both the father and sister could face charges ranging from kidnapping to child endangerment.
"You just can't gag someone and bind them and take them in the back of a car to a foreign country. That's just not acceptable. We're trying to sort out the details," said Sgt. Morrin.
The teen admitted to officers she's been using methamphetamines for the last year. Her relatives told 10News she escaped twice from local rehabs. The family lives in San Juan Capistrano.
Nancy Knott is a licensed psychotherapist. She spent years working as a treatment counselor for Scripps before going into private practice. Knott is not familiar with this case, but says parents often reach a breaking point.
"When it reaches a certain point, desperation sets in, and anytime desperation sets in, people don't always make the correct choices. They're trying a lot of times to save the life of their child," said Knott.
Knott said families in California can hire outside help when trying to force a minor into treatment.
"A parent could arrange for a transport company to take their child into treatment and they do not use physical restraints unless absolutely necessary. Again, first choice is to have the parents to seek out some expert advice, try to work with their child themselves, if not, usually the one off approach works better especially with the child parent relationship to bring in a professional, to work with the child and the family. The family would be signing off permission, or the guardian, to the transport company to take that child to treatment," said Knott adding that the company should be licensed and bonded.
Knott doesn't recommend seeking treatment in Mexico.
"I've never taken a patient to Mexico. And frankly, never will. The laws are different there. The family is always at great risk of crossing that border because they are not going to be the same laws as in the US, so it's riskier; that's my opinion," said Knott.
Knott said early intervention is critical, but recovery can still take years.
"Treatment doesn't always work the first or second time with adolescents. We look at keep them alive until 25, meaning the brain is more developed at 25 to have a little more rational way of looking at their problem," said Knott.
The teenager was taken into custody by child protective services.
10News reached her 21-year-old sister by phone Tuesday, and she declined to comment.