The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Wis. girl reunites with family

Jessyca Mullenberg's family had extra reason to celebrate the new year. After three months she was returned home safely.

Mullenberg, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Stevens Point, Wis., disappeared in September while visiting her father.

A person watching America's Most Wanted recognized photos of Jessyca and Steven Oliver, the man who was last seen with the 13-year-old. Within an hour after the broadcast, Houston police arrested Oliver and took Jessyca into safe custody. Oliver faces an abduction charge. Wisconsin officials also expect additional charges to be filed.

Upon her return home, Jessyca told a reporter, "[Oliver] should be in prison for a long, long time. ... He did a lot of things wrong."

David Maxfield, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Stevens Point, said Jessyca is doing well. Now that the media attention is dying down, the family "needs to get back to being ordinary," he added.

To celebrate Jessyca's return, Trinity sponsored a thanksgiving service Jan. 4.


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February issue


Embracing diversity