A young Ohio girl in hiding in Florida says she fears for her life because she is a Christian.
Fathima Rifqa Bary left her temporary home in tears, begging social workers to not send her home.
She's staying at the Orlando home of Pastor Blake Lorenz of Global Revolution Church. Bary says she ran away from her home in Ohio because she converted to Christianity and her Muslim father wants to see her die for rejecting his faith.
"They have to kill me. My blood is now halalh which means... because I am now a Christian," she explained. "I'm from a Muslim background. It's an honor, if they love God more than me. They have to do this."
Bary says she walked to a bus station and took a bus to Orlando.
She'd made friends with people from Lorenz's church, which is why she went there. Social workers from the state of Florida were called in to investigate and Monday a judge gave Florida emergency jurisdiction into the case until the court is sure Ohio will completely investigate if the girl returns there.
"There are too many conflicting things going on with this child and with the circumstances - it needs to be investigated thoroughly," said DCF attorney Karlene Cole-Palmer. "So that's our position that the child should be returned to Ohio."
Colby May, senior counsel and director of the Washington office of the American Center for Law and Justice says there is a chance Bary could be allowed to stay in Florida.
"Seventeen is an interesting age because you're not quite an emancipated adult yet. Eighteen, pretty much across the boards in most states is the age," he explained. "But you may be old enough to where you could convince a judge that you're entitled to an order of emancipation, which would allow you to stand on your own. You of course have to show that you have some means of support and the like."
Bary's father came to Florida to get his daughter and denied the charges she's making.