Private investigator says Taylor teen missing 75 days was a case of 'Romeo and Juliet'

For 75 days, the family of Gloria Alvarado feared the worst for the now 16-year-old. The only evidence they had was a cut window screen and a grainy surveillance video showing a car driving away. 

But Private Investigator James Michael Terry was able to piece it together from the other side of the country and he says this was no case of abduction.

"There was a misconception this girl was abducted. this girl left. She wiped her cellphone clean and even took a toothbrush," Terry said.

The parents feared she had been taken on November 1 and Taylor Police began investigating immediately. Meanwhile, mom and dad went on TV to desperately plead for their daughter's safe return.

By December, there was no word on Gloria so the Alvarados went private with Terry from Gulf Coast Solutions. He pieced it all together and started with that open window.

"It's a 6-foot drop to the ground and you have seen the window. There's no way she was pulled out of the house," said Terry.

With that knowledge, he talked with Gloria's friends who tipped him about a boy she had been seeing who lives in Inkster. 

"I found out through friends and through neighbors the boy was coming to the window around 10:30 at night. What I did was take the surveillance video you guys had and rewound it two weeks prior. Nobody ever went back (that far) - they only went to the day she was missing. I saw different cars coming to that house around 10:30, 11 o'clock at night," Terry said.

Her parents told James they went to bed at 9:30 that night and had no idea this was happening.

So the PI tracked down the boy's family but they denied involvement, saying the 17-year-old doesn't drive. But there are other ways to get around.

"What he did, was he took an Uber from right around the airport to the family's house. I said 'wouldn't the Uber driver see the window being cut open and the young girl being pulled out?'" Terry said. "He got to the house of where the girl was, Uber driver to leave, got her out of the window, walked down the street, called another Uber driver, and went to his great-grandmother's house."

The app confirmed the drive but his relatives could no because they work overnight as home caregivers. Apparently, the 17-year-old went to Gloria's house right after they left for work.

"The family of this boy worked with me and they said, 'listen, he had his reasons for taking her: they were in love. We think we know where she is at'. I said 'if you can drop her off in the next two hours, I will have a sheriff's officer or detective meet you somewhere'," Terry said.

Sure enough, earlier this week, relatives of the teen - who still won't say where Gloria was - safely brought her to meet the detective at the Taylor Walmart.

Terry talked with her on the phone and asked if she had anything to say.

"Only that she was scared. She was scared to go home," Terry said.

He said Gloria was not held against her will and was in incredible health. It appears, he says, that this was a case of 'Romeo and Juliet' as the 15-year-old was not allowed to date.

"She did see your news coverage, so she was able to follow this as it was happening. She is now back home with her family thanks to the detectives who took it the rest of the way," Terry said.

Taylor police have not issued any charges. 

Terry said over the past six months, he's taken on more missing kid cases than ever before. In many cases, like Gloria's, kids aren't running from a bad situation, they're trying to see their friends who they haven't seen throughout the pandemic.