After missing for nearly a week, a Columbia County teen believed to be with a dangerous man has now been found.
Her parents got the call around 3:30 Saturday afternoon and say they're glad this week of highs and lows gets to end on a high.
"I was living a nightmare and I just woke up."
After almost a week of questions and hours of searches, one phone call is all it took to end Rick and Nora Waskow's week-long nightmare. Nora says she was at work when she got the news she'd been hoping and praying for.
"They said that they were with the Tennessee Sheriff's Department," Nora says. "[The man] said that he had my daughter standing right in front of him."
15-year-old Calah Waskow, missing since Monday morning, is finally safe and sound.
"She said 'Momma, I just want to come home," an emotional Nora says. "She said she saw us on the news and she said she was okay. She said she was alright."
Tennessee police found Calah and 37-year-old Jason Johnson at a Russell Stover in a town called Sevierville, near Gatlinburg. Investigators say a man spotted the two then called dispatch.
He followed them from gas station to gas station before they wound up at the candy store, where police caught them. Johnson is now behind bars and Calah is in the hospital to be checked out for any injuries.
"I just got so emotional, I just busted into tears," Nora says. "I mean, just to hear her voice and just such a relief, you know? A heavy burden lifted, you know?"
Family members are already stopping by with tears of joy. Calah's sister Madison got the call at work and rushed to share this moment with her parents.
"You really see how people are, you know," Rick says.T"here are so many people out there that care. So many people that were praying for us and were excited for us to get to where we are today."
And to everyone who helped spread the word of her daughter's disappearance, Nora has a message.
"I just want to say God bless you," Nora says. "Thank you so much and it's because of you that our daughter's home."
They say there are still many questions left to answer. But for now, this family's just glad she's coming home.
The family says Calah should be coming back home sometime on Sunday. They say because she is listed as a runaway, she will be brought to a youth detention center until a judge releases her to her parents.
Columbia County investigators aren't sure when Johnson will be brought here.