Extortion charges might be the next chapter in the saga of the missing teen found safe just a few miles away from her home Thursday night.
Police said it took more than three dozen law enforcement officials to track down 15-year-old Marissa Bolles, who initially went missing July 8. Officers from the Ingham County Sheriff's Office, the Michigan State Police, and the FBI all lent a hand in this investigation.
Ingham County Sheriff's Office Lt. Eric Trojanowicz said he spoke with Bolles for an hour Thursday night after they found her.
"Just telling her that, 'Hey, this isn't right. I mean, we're here to help you. We're not your enemies, if there's anything we can do, please give us a call,' and not one time would she look up at me," Trojanowicz said.
At first police believed it was a runaway case, but then it progressed to a possible abduction after interviews with family members. Bolles' foster sister told police two different stories about a man in Rome, New York, that both turned out to be false. Trojanowicz said the Rome police and the man in question were very cooperative.
Police believed instead of being abducted, Bolles was staying at her former residence, a house on Miller Road that burned down a little over a month ago. Trojanowicz said they found evidence of someone inhabiting it recently, including Ramen Noodles wrappers and binoculars.
Then, Bolle's cousin reported a ransom call Thursday afternoon. FBI tracked the phone number to a hotel, which police searched thoroughly, and two other homes before linking it to a trailer home near St. Johns Street and Waverly Road. Police found Bolles unharmed with three men and three women believed to be acquaintances.
"To run away and hide out and have us put all this man hours into something like this that didn't need to be put in...It just flabbergasts me," Trojanowicz said.
Police said Bolles was there on her own free will, and her family says now that she's home, she just doesn't seem like herself.
"She seems like she might be a little traumatized," said Bolles' uncle, Thoren Jensen. "We need to get her some help."
Jensen was involved in the search since day one, and he feels the police effort wasn't excessive.
"When it comes to somebody's child, if it was your child, and you didn't know what was going on, you would want everyone in the world to be helping you look for them, you know," Jensen said. "I think that if anything they could have called in more man power, but ya know, they did a great job, and I'm happy for that."
Trojanowicz said it could have been an even better job.
"Give us the correct information, let us locate her so we can put the family at ease, but her giving us the run around, we wouldn't have had to spend this amount of time on this situation if we had gotten the truth right from the get go," Trojanowicz said.
Police do have a theory as to why this wild goose chase occurred in the first place.
"I just think it's a teenager butting heads with her mom, and her mom rules," Trojanowicz said.
Police and family hope Bolles seeks counseling.
"I'm just elated, I'm so happy to have my niece back, to know that she's OK," Jensen said. "To know there's no one out there trying to harm her. It's just a great feeling, I feel like we can all rest now, and that the worst is over, but it's still going to be hard."
The Michigan State Police still need to submit its report, which could lead to additional charges.
The Ingham County prosecutor is expected to review all of that information early next week.