ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) - The mother of one of the girlfriends of two escaped Lake County inmates is desperate to get her daughter back.
Brittany Rector, 17, is apparently the girlfriend of Kenneth Grauman, 32. He and fellow inmate Gregory Bradshaw, 23, escaped the Lake County Residential Reentry Program Sept. 29 and have been on the run ever since.
Judy Olexa is Rector's mother.
"To Ken, I would say if you say you love her, let her go," Olexa told 24 Hour News 8.
To explain what has happened to Brittany since she met Grauman about a year ago, her mother showed two photos. One is of a healthy, happy 16-year-old. The other is of her daughter a year later, after her mother says methamphetamine had begun to take a toll.
"She's beautiful. This is not who she is," her mother said, referring to the effects of the meth.
Olexa said her daughter was introduced to Grauman through his cousin, Laura Grauman, who is also on the run with the couple and Bradshaw.
Olexa believes Kenneth Grauman got her daughter turned onto meth and took control of her life.
"I think she's scared. I think she's scared to not be with him at this point," said Olexa.
Early Sunday morning, shortly after Grauman and Bradshaw escaped, police came to Olexa's door. They had overheard a phone call that Grauman had supposedly made.
"Saying that Ken was going to put Brittany in the ground," said Olexa. "And then they told us that they had escaped."
Brittany told police she didn't know anything about the escape. By sunrise, Brittany was gone.
Olexa said she doesn't know if Brittany went with the escapees willingly.
"I think if she did, it was out of fear," she said.
She said Brittany and Kenneth Grauman have an abusive relationship and that she tried to keep the two part -- but there was only so much she could do.
Olexa has been monitoring the Internet and listening to the police scanner for the next sighting or the next car chase.
And she has a message for her daughter:
"To Brittany I would say run. Run away from him. Don't run with them. Run away from them. Run home. Come home."
Many keep wondering why police can't catch the escapees. Brittany may be part of the reason.
Her family has heard from investigators that officers have had a number of opportunities to ram the car or take other action to stop it -- but there's a 17-year-old girl in that car who may have simply gotten in over her head.
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