Michigan Teen Runaways Found in Chicago

Sunday, Sep 8, 2013  |  Updated 5:09 PM CDT
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Two Michigan teens who were reported missing nearly two weeks ago were found safe outside a Chicago gas station Sunday, officials said. Christian Farr reports.

Two Michigan teens who were reported missing nearly two weeks ago were found safe outside a Chicago gas station Sunday, officials said. Christian Farr reports.

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Two Michigan teens who were reported missing nearly two weeks ago were found safe outside a Chicago gas station Sunday, officials said.

Jayden Thomas, 13, of Clare, Mich. And Braxton Wood, 14, of Mount Pleasant, Mich., were first reported missing on Aug. 26.

The teens’ parents said Wood took his family’s 2005 black Ford Explorer and picked up Thomas before the two took off, Wood's family told Good Morning America.

The two were reportedly scheduled to start their freshman year of high school at different schools last week, and had broken up shortly before their first day.

According to the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, the two had a dating relationship at one time, but have not been recently seeing each other.

The sheriff’s department noted the two may have been heading to a friend’s home in Florida.

Around 9 a.m. Sunday local officials said the teens were found in a parking lot in the Uptown neighborhood after their SUV ran out of gas, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

Police were alerted to the teen’s location by an anonymous phone call, Mirabelli said.

The teens were found inside the SUV, which police identified as Wood's fatrher's vehicle.

A homeless man living out of his car near where the teens were parked in the 3900 block of North Broadway, said the two had been living in the vehicle for days.

A few nights ago, Rich Knight said the couple couldn’t get into the SUV because the battery had died, so he helped them, ultimately by breaking the window.

“I said ‘I’ve got to help them,’” he said. “I wasn’t going to let them just sleep on the street.”

Knight said he didn’t know the two were reported missing, but that they didn’t seem stressed or unhealthy.

Mirabelli said the teen's parents were scheduled to pick them up Sunday evening.

"They can work it out," Knight said. "First loves are always hard."
 

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