As reported by WHDH and NECN — but, curiously, not in the Telegram–Samantha Hernandez, 15, a Worcester resident and student at Doherty Memorial High School, squirreled away enough money to pay for a plane ticket to run off to Brazil with her boyfriend. She used someone else’s passport, was stopped by Brazilian customs, but — instead of being sent back to the US — was released into the custody of her boyfriend’s family in Brazil.
(Yes, you got that right — Brazil knew she came over on a bogus passport, and yet they kept her in the country. No, I have no idea why they did that. Neither do her parents.)
Her parents are naturally concerned and are working to get their daughter back to the US, but she does not want to come back.
According to WHDH, Samantha said, “I definitely do not want to go back. I’d rather jump off a bridge with sharks and piranhas in the water with meat tied to my neck than go back there.”
It’s unclear whether “there” is her mother’s residence in particular, or Worcester in general. (As someone who’s been both a parent and a rebellious teenager, though luckily not at the same time, I’m trying to be as tasteful as possible here.)
But this would have been (and still could be) a good story for the local daily; the parents likely have a long road ahead of them (which will be full of calls to their elected officials and the State Department), the daughter has indicated that she does not want to come back (though it’s unclear why), and local residents have recently had issues with the Brazilian government. There’s still plenty of digging that could be done to flesh out this story, and I hope someone does that work.