A teenage boy moved into a Texas Walmart for days before anyone noticed he was there. The 14-year-old, whose name has not been released, did not want to stay with relatives while his parents were away so he got creative. The boy created his own secret hideout where he slept on a makeshift bed and had access to food during his stay.
For days the teen’s plan worked. Neither employees nor customers suspected the boy was camping out in the aisles of this 24-hour store. To ensure he was fully “covered” he wore diapers so he would not have to risk going to the bathroom and even changed his clothes every few hours. Eventually a trail of trash led to his living quarters and ultimately his discovery. The boy tried to run once he was located but did not get far before police nabbed him.
Police were called to the Corsicana Walmart, located about 55 miles southeast of Dallas, just before 11:00 p.m. on July 30 where they were informed by employees that the boy had been camping out inside their store. Customers were shocked and confused wondering where his parents were and how he could go undetected for that length of time. One customer, Myrna Aguilar, who could hardly believe it said,
That’s crazy, you would never expect that you are at Walmart and someone has been living inside for four days.
Another customer, Megan Nicholson, questioned where the child’s parents were and how is it that their 14-year-old child could be missing for four days and it goes unnoticed.
I am wondering what his parents were thinking when he did not come home and why were they not worried about him?
According to a press release from Corsicana Police Department’s Chief, Randy Bratton, his brief vacation was not as undetected as it seemed. Law enforcement was called to the home of his aunt on Monday, July 28 after a report that the boy had run away. The woman said her nephew had been staying with her while his parents were out-of-town. While she was watching television the teen disappeared.
Bratton said after speaking with the boy’s mother he learned that this was not the first time the teen has run away; instead, he had done this several times in the past. According to his mother the teen is a known runaway who had been found hiding out in businesses, abandoned houses and even creeks on previous occasions.
The boy has been returned home safely and it does not appear that he will be prosecuted by Walmart for stealing food and survival materials. Bratton said Child Protective Services will not be involved because he ran away and was not victimized.
In runaway cases it is not standard procedure to notify Child Protective Serves unless there is an indication the juvenile was a victim of possible abuse or neglect or was living in a dangerous environment.
It is not quite clear how the 14-year-old stayed hidden in the store all that time but Walmart staff is investigating. The teen’s makeshift home, according to officials, was totally hidden from view. The boy stored necessities, created a crack in the wall behind the juice aisle to stay hydrated and even borrowed a pet fish to keep him company. The creativity of this runaway teen allowed him to stay in the local Walmart for four days before anyone took notice.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)