In May 2016, Michael Carroll dropped his 15-year-old son Aubrey of at his school in Georgia. It was an ordinary day and everything seemed normal.
But when Aubrey’s stepmother went to pick him up from school in the afternoon, he wasn’t there. Aubrey had disappeared without a trace.
Michael tried to get in touch with his friends in the hope that someone had seen him. But time went by and the family got no answers.
Then, two years after the teenager’s disappearance, investigators made a breakthrough. New information claimed that the boy had left school with a friend on the day he disappeared. The next morning he reportedly showed up at another friend’s house, but was not allowed to stay there.
Aubrey’s family told Dateline that his friend’s mother had said she asked Aubrey to leave when she learned his parents were looking for him. He then reportedly asked friends for a ride to the nearest Flying J Truck Stop. Investigators say he was in contact with friends in Gary, Georgia on May 26th, but no one had seen or heard from him since.
#AubreyCarroll has been missing since May 26, 2016 from #Griffin #GA. Since Aubrey's disappearance, he has missed the passing of his grandma Jill, his Big Momma’s birthday, his Mamoo’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and now his very on sweet 16th Birthday. Wherever you are Aubrey, Happy Birthday, we love you and can't wait for you to come home! ~Justice For Children Without Voices #Happy16thBirthday #ComeHome #MissingChild #JFCWOV #justiceforchildrenwithoutvoices
“Initially we believed he ran away,” said Sheriff Dix, according to NBC News. “But then we don’t know what happened.”
The FBI put the 15-year-old on their missing persons list, warning that he could have been kidnapped and in danger.
Then in April the worried family received some joyous news: Aubrey has been found safe and well.
– [We] showed them pictures of Aubrey and shared with them a Facebook page that he had launched under an assumed identity,” Sheriff Darrell Dix said in a press release.
The police told Aubrey’s family that he had been traveling from state to state along the west coast bartering. Then they played footage from a Facebook video showing their missing loved one.
““He told us that he left on his own, and had not been abducted, hurt, abused, exploited, or harmed in any way,” Sheriff Dix said in the release, according to NBC News. “We sat for quite a bit of time with him and listened to his story. His tale was absolutely amazing. He has seen and done things that make your jaw drop.”
On the video Aubrey had a message for all those family members who had been praying for his return.
“I’d like to tell y’all — thank y’all so much for all your prayers and looking out for my mama. I appreciate y’all so much,” Aubrey said in the video. “I’m all right. I’m OK. I’ve been smiling, and y’all should do the same!”
The police are obviously relieved that they can finally close the case of the missing boy. “The only thing that matters is that he is safe and well,” concluded the police.
Its impossible to imagine the worry and pain that Aubrey’s family endured during those two years. It must have been a nightmare. Luckily, he was found well and that’s all that matters. Share this incredible story with your friends!