The 17-year-old was last seen leaving Atlanta International Airport on Sept. 6. Linek’s mother, Eleanor, confirmed the news to FOX 8’s Kevin Freeman.
“I just got the phone call,” Eleanor told Freeman. Eleanor said a lady found her in the park, recognized her from the news and took her to the police station.
Eleanor told FOX 8 Saturday that her daughter flew into Atlanta from Cleveland, heading back to school in Boston on Tuesday.
“She was supposed to have a direct flight to Boston to go back to her therapeutic boarding school,” Eleanor said. “My husband and I watched her go through security. Then we got a call from the facility where she was staying say she did not get on that plane, that she missed it.”
The airline rebooked her on a different flight, connecting in Atlanta.
During a news conference Saturday, the FBI said Emma, who also goes by the name Zari, was last seen leaving a parking lot at the airport with a man around 10 a.m. on Sept. 6.
“She was seen wandering through the airport and at times appeared lost,” FBI Assistant Special Agent Christopher McCray said during the press conference. “We’ve been in discussions with that individual, but at this time we have not located Emma. Emma was not with that individual.”
“The police have cleared him,” Eleanor told FOX 8.
Twinsburg schools superintendent Kathi Powers said in the message to students and parents that Emma was at the police station in Atlanta. Eleanor said her husband was in Atlanta and with Emma.
“I believe that Emma was found because of the goodwill of others,” Powers wrote.
The FBI described the teen as endangered because she is autistic and hasn’t had her medication since Tuesday.“She’s a wonderful girl. A sweet and bubbly personality,” Mike Linek, Emma’s father said. “She loves animals, she loves to sing and we’re anxious to have her back with us.”
“I was able to talk to her!” Eleanor told FOX 8. “We’re going to see her soon.”