Runaway Christian convert Fathima Rifqa Bary was back in her home state of Ohio as of Tuesday after three months of living in Florida, where she had a highly publicized court battle against her Muslim parents.
Florida has officially ended its emergency jurisdiction of Bary, who was turned over to the care of Ohio's Children Services. The 17-year-old girl, who said her father threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity, will not be immediately returned to her family home. Ohio's Franklin County Children Services is expected to place her in a foster home.
Since August, Bary has been involved in a legal battle with her parents, who are trying to regain custody of her.
The teen ran away from her home near Columbus in mid-July by boarding a Greyhound bus and heading nearly 1,000 miles south to Orlando. She was taken in by an evangelical pastor couple in Orlando that she met through a Facebook prayer group.
After two weeks of living with the pastors, Florida authorities matched her to the missing person reported by her parents and moved her to state custody.
She then stayed in a Florida foster home while her custody trial took place.
During the trial, Bary and her lawyer repeatedly warned the court about the physical danger in returning her to Ohio, including the threat of an honor killing by her family or extremists. But investigators reported that they found no "credible" evidence that the teen convert is in danger of being harmed by her father.
Throughout the case, her father Mohamed Bary has vehemently denied his daughter's claim that he threatened to harm her. He also said that his daughter is welcome to practice Christianity in his home, though he admitted that he prefers her practicing Islam.
Now back in Ohio, the teen's phone and Internet use will be supervised by the Franklin County Children Service Agency, according to the order of the Ohio judge, The Associated Press reported.
The Ohio children services agency blamed Bary's use of social networking site Facebook – through which she met Pastor Blake Lorenz of Orlando who later let her stay with his family – for making the case more complicated.
"What we want to restrict is the other people, the other organizations, the other forces, that have interjected themselves into this case inappropriately, and has caused the additional problems that we've seen," said Jim Zorn, a children's services attorney, according to AP.
Bary's parents support the monitoring, but the teen's lawyer argues that the problem resulted not because of Internet usage but from conflict between the girl and her parents.
"We're making some assumptions, without evidence in the record, that she has done something improper talking to people on Facebook. There's no evidence of that," said Kort Gatterdam to the judge.
"If the goal here is normalcy and reunification or whatever, this is not the way to go."
The Bary family is expected to undergo mediation and the parents have said they want their daughter to return home.