May 4, 2017
“Sleeping in a bed felt amazing. Taking a shower, washing my hair. Shaving my legs – my armpits that … that was cool,” says 16-year-old Darbi when asked how it felt to be off the streets. “Having food – like – overwhelming with food – I couldn’t even eat all my food, man.”
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The teenager had been missing from her mother, Janice’s home since mid-October. Then, in the hours after her family taped an episode of Dr. Phil to plead for her to return home, Janice says she learned Darbi was safe, and in police custody.
“I expected to see Darbi in bad shape,” says the teen’s father, Wayne. “So that was a relief for me that we found her in such good condition.”
The former couple says they discussed whether to take Darbi to the Emergency room and have her placed on a hold, so she couldn’t run again, but in the end, they kept their daughter with them. Wayne says, “We decided it was in Darbi’s best interest to take her back to our hotel and get her some food and some sleep.”
“I just felt safe like, like holding my parents – like my parents holding me – it just – it felt good. Like I needed that,” says Darbi.