Young Texas teen found safe in Mexico

A file photo released by the FBI shows Texas teenager Ashlee Hattermann, who crossed the border to Mexico alone on Dec. 1, 2017. She was found safe in Mexico two days later, according to the Harris County Sherrif's Office.

FBI/Handout

There was relief on Sunday for a Texas couple who said their 13-year-old daughter had left school on Friday and gone alone to Mexico, apparently to meet a man with whom she had been corresponding on social media, covert messaging apps and through phone calls for a year.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said Sunday evening that Ashlee Hattermann had been found safe in Mexico, and thanked the FBI's San Antonio field office, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and Mexican authorities for their help in locating her.

They did not give details on where or how, exactly, she was found.

"We found a note in her room," said Ashlee's father Keith Hattermann after she disappeared on Friday. "She calls the guy 'daddy' and herself 'baby girl.' (The note read) 'Daddy owns my body and my soul,' over and over and over again down this sheet of paper."

The sheriff's office and the FBI sent tweets on Friday with a physical description of Ashlee late on Saturday afternoon, and asked for the public's help in locating the teen.

Keith and his wife Tiffany Hattermann said they discovered their daughter was exchanging graphic sexual images and messages last May through her phone, by using the covert messaging apps.

The couple told CBS affiliate KHOU said they took away their daughter's phone and turned it over to the sheriff's office Cyber Crimes Division.

Tiffany Hattermann said her daughter had told her last spring that the man she was communicating with was 29 years old and lived in Mexico.

Officials believe she traveled to Laredo and crossed into Mexico on Friday night.