ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) - Brittany Rector was the youngest in the bunch on the run with two Lake County escapees, one of which was her boyfriend who is nearly twice her age.
Her mother hoped she'd have her daughter back before her 18th birthday later this month, and Thursday night's news that the four were arrested in Colorado came as a relief.
"They're caught!!" Judy Olexa, Rector's mom exclaimed in a Facebook posting Thursday evening. "My girl is safe!"
"I don't even know what to say, I'm so happy right now," said Samantha Mannon, a close friend of Rector's who spoke with Olexa shortly after the news broke. "We were both crying we were so happy."
Mannon did not know details about how the four suspects were apprehended but said Rector was in good condition.
"They said that Britany looked great. She looked fine," Mannon said. "From what I understand, they didn't put up a fight at all."
Rector, along with her boyfriend, escapee 32-year-old Kenneth Grauman II, were found with escapee Gregory Bradshaw and his girlfriend, 29-year-old Laura Lee Grauman (Kenneth's cousin). The four were found at the Budget Host Royal Gorge Inn in Canon City, Colo., authorities told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday evening.
"They sent the SWAT team, I believe, in because they didn't want to take the chance of them running again," Mannon said.
Now family members are left wondering if Rector will face criminal charges and whether she played an active role in the escapees' nearly two-week flee from justice.
Olexa is still awaiting word from authorities about when Rector and the others might be brought back to Michigan.
"I don't even know what to say or do right now. It's such a relief. God finally answered all of our prayers," Mannon said. "She's going to be back home."
Jahleel Hoskins has pleaded guilty to several charges, including second-degree murder, in the death of his girlfriend, Latrice Maze.
It all started with an ad on Craigslist and a West Michigan man who was trying to get rid of one single Christmas tree. But it resulted in 40 families looking forward to a brighter holiday.
Douglas Kacos, the owner of the New Beginnings restaurant chain, has pleaded guilty to money laundering.