The body of a missing Oklahoma teen was found recently by a hunter in Oregon. Confirmation came as the boy’s identification and truck were found nearby, giving police a clue as to who he was. But as to what happened to the Oklahoma boy after he told his parents he was going to test himself against the wild, like the boy in the movie ‘Into the Wild,’ still remains to be unclear. Police are still working to determine what happened to the teenage boy who they have been searching for since last year.
For anyone who has seen the movie ‘Into the Wild’ the story is sad and the outcome is tragic. The book, written by Jon Krakauer, is based on the real story of Christopher McCandless, who is his mid-twenties, decided to be free of modern society and travel in the wild to live off of nature. Though his journey held several events before he went completely into the wild, he eventually ditched his car and money, as he traveled the U.S. on his way to Alaska. As the story ends (spoiler alert) he was last seen alive on April 28, 1992 by a man who gave him a ride in Alaska. In his journal he wrote for 112 days of his experience in Alaska, then his body was found on Sep. 6, 1992.
This is the story that has been inspirational to adventurers everywhere. One such account was documented, as Marc Paterson set off to do the same at age 29. Though his story did not end in tragedy, hundreds have tried the same lifestyle. Many have tried to live the way that Chris did but many have failed. Last year the body of Johnathan Croom was also found in Oregon, after he decided to take his car and go into the wild. His parents stated that he was obsessed with the movie and wanted to live that way. He was found two days after he was suppose to start college.
With all of the news that has circulated the deaths involved with people who want to live off of the wild, it just seems like living completely off of nature is too difficult for most, as humans no longer grow up learning how to live off of the land, completely. But another Oklahoma teen decided to take the chance as he told his parents that he wanted to live like that, before traveling into the wild, himself.
Dustin Self, from Piedmont, Oklahoma was 19 years old when he decided to take this journey. Though his family protested as they stated that Self has little experience with the outdoors, he went on his journey anyway. He did not ditch his vehicle, as he often used his truck to sleep in, according to witnesses, but his truck and backpack were found in a different area than his remains. According to his family, who remained in Oklahoma, Self also kept in contact for a while, though they stated that it always sounded like he was hallucinating during his calls. After his truck was found police began looking for him, months ago. They searched the ground and air but were unable to find him. One witness said that the last time he was seen, he was at a convenience store asking for directions, stating that his GPS got him lost. However, the witness stated that the directions he was asking for would have taken him in the opposite direction of where his truck had been found.
The hunter that found Self was after deer when he “tripped” on his skeletal remains. Police sent the body to the medical examiner for further confirmation to prove that it is, in fact, Dustin Self. Investigators are still working to figure out what happened between the time that Self left Oklahoma to go into the wild and the time he died. They are still asking anyone who might have seen him during his trip, to provide them with information. Investigators in Oklahoma are still on the case.
By Crystal Boulware