The parents of a 15-year-old girl from Sweden, who ran away from home to join ISIS and was rescued twice, blame social services for allowing her daughter to flee the country.
Marilyn Nevalainen of Boras, Sweden, tricked her foster family in May 2015 and left her country to join ISIS with her boyfriend. Marilyn was pregnant with his child at the time.
Marilyn’s parents, Pasi and Ann-Kristin Nevalainen, put the blame on social service for failing to watch their daughter after a decision to transfer the teen to a foster family was reached in 2014.
“It was we ourselves who asked them for help, and that help ended up unfortunately with our daughter in Syria,” Marilyn’s father said in an interview with a Swedish radio station.
According to the parents, social services did not believe their daughter had run away. They were reportedly told that there was “insufficient evidence” that the couple left the country.
“We could have told all the border controls that there was a Swedish girl on the run and stopped her long before she got to Syria,” the father said.
On Feb. 26, Swedish media confirmed that the teen returned to her home country and reunited with her family.
In an interview Marilyn said she only agreed to join ISIS with her boyfriend because she “didn’t know anything about ISIS or Islam or anything like that," according to Kurdistan 24.
Marilyn was reported missing in June 2015 after telling her foster family and her biological parents she was taking a trip to Stockholm for several days. The teen and her boyfriend reportedly crossed international borders by train until they arrived in Turkey. From there, they traveled to Syria by bus.
Kurdish forces rescued the teen from ISIS in October 2015. Marilyn decided to return to her boyfriend and ISIS, however. She gave birth several days later.