When 15-year-old Calah Waskow went missing last December, her mum Nora feared the worst – and for very good reason.
Only days earlier, Calah had revealed to investigators the extent of her relationship with Jason Johnson, the 37-year-old dad of a friend who she had been having a sexual relationship with for the last six months.
With her disappearance sparking alerts across the US before she was finally found, Calah has for the first time, opened up on TV show Dr Phil about her six days on the run with Jason, who was already wanted on unrelated child molestation charges.
When asked by host Dr Phil if she had been prepared to leave her family for good, the somber teen, seated next to her mum Nora for the interview, admitted she secretly wanted to be found.
“I actually went back home to where we used to live [in Virginia] hoping that if they found out we were going north that [my mum] would see that I was there,” Calah explained.
“I wanted to [be found] because it was hard and I had to panhandle, asking people for money for gas, and we slept in a car, and it just started getting too hard.”
Revealing Jason did nothing to help but “just drove” while they were on the run, Calah says he coerced her into leaving after threatening to overdose when their relationship was uncovered.
"I was thinking if he kills himself his kids and everyone is going to blame me for his death so he said running away would the only other option," she explained.
Calah and Jason’s relationship began as a friendship, which then turned sexual and saw her skipping class to meet him. Jason, who is 22 years old than Calah, would pick her up in the neighbourhood behind school and they would go back to his house to have sex almost every day to have sex.
This went on for six months until Nora found a text from Jason. Calah tried to pass Jason off as a 16-year-old boy, and the teen’s horrified mum only found out the truth when Calah was brought before a judge due to her frequent absences at school.
"The judge questioned her, who is this Jason?” says Nora, who admits she “fell apart” at the revelations. “She wouldn't say anything at first. He said you're either going to tell me or you're going to jail, and Calah told."
Two days later, Calah and Jason went on the run, but were found by investigators 400 kilometres away almost a week later in a lolly store.
Jason is currently in Columbia County jail waiting a trial date.