October 18, 2016
Eighteen-year-old Maddy says she is madly in love with Andres, a boy she met online and says she is ready to give up her studies as a pharmaceutical major at Indiana University and fly to Argentina to start a new life with him, where she says she plans to resume her studies.
“I met Andres online 14 months ago. I thought he was cute. He was really nice, and it was fun. I like him, of course, but I didn’t want to tell him that; I was too shy,” says Maddy, who admits she doesn’t have a ton of friends and spends a lot of time on the Internet. “The plan right now is to go and meet him in Argentina and if things work out, to stay there.”
However Maddy’s mother and father say they are terrified their daughter could be being ‘groomed’ by this stranger to be "sold as a sex slave." They have gone as far as to keep two passports away from her just to keep her in the country. Watch their story here.
Maddy says her parents’ accusations are “ridiculous” and that they are overreacting. She says she’s certain nothing will happen to her because she trusts Andres with her life, and she wants Dr. Phil to convince her parents that her new love is real. Andres says he’s heard the accusations Maddy’s parents have made about him but says they are not true and they have no evidence to support them.
WATCH: Parents Who Say They Fear Teen’s Foreign Online ‘Boyfriend’ Could Be A Predator Speak To Him For First Time
“I’m not being catfished. I’m not being scammed,” she says. “I want my family to back off and let me live because it’s my life, not theirs. It should be our decision, and they shouldn’t be deciding this for me. It doesn’t really matter what they say, I’m still going to go.”
On Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil, Maddy’s parents speak with Andres for the first time, and they hear from a private investigator who uncovered facts about Andres and his family. Is he who he says he is? Check here to see where you can watch.