Ex-spouses Mark and Melissa claim their 17-year-old daughter, Malia, is a chronic runaway who started leaving home four years ago.

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“It started out we wouldn’t hear from her for a couple of days and then the times got longer and longer and longer,” says Melissa.

“Every time that she was brought back, she immediately picked up and ran again,” says Mark. “We have dropped everything to go get Malia, whether it’s been in an abandoned car, whether it’s been two states away.”

“I’ve been under bridges searching for my daughter,” says Melissa.

She says in the beginning, Malia’s habitual running “broke” her. “But as time goes on, and it’s a repeated behavior I could no longer be so emotionally invested because I had two other children that I need to be a really good mom to.”

Malia’s parents claim she started using street drugs around age 12. At 15, they say she became involved with a 35-year-old man who was recently arrested and charged with contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor, among other alleged crimes. The man, who Malia claims she is in love with, has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is currently awaiting trial.

On Friday's episode, Dr. Phil tells the former couple, “When I start looking for solutions, I start looking for causes. Because if there’s a cause and effect I need to know what the cause is to understand the effect.”

What factors do Mark and Melissa say they believe contributed to Malia’s risky behaviors?

Check here to find out where you can tune into Friday's Dr. Phil. 

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