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Fairbanks boy, 14, missing for six days found safe in Washington state


A Fairbanks teen-ager who’s been missing for nearly a week now has been located in Washington state.

Fourteen-year-old Weston Luther is OK. A Washington state highway patrol officer found the Lathrop High School student Tuesday afternoon walking along a stretch of Interstate highway 82 near Yakima, Wash.
His mom, Marcey Luther, says she breathed a sigh of relief when she got the call that her son – who’d been missing since last Thursday – had been found, and that he was in good health.
“Oh, how crazy,” she said. “Yep, he made it all the way to Yakima, Washington, somehow.”
Fairbanks police Officer Doug Welborn says investigators had notified law-enforcement agencies throughout the state, and at the Canadian border, after learning that he may be trying to return to the Lower 48. Welborn, who headed up the investigation, says investigators will begin work today trying to answer questions – like how he got to the states.
“We just don’t know at this point,” he said. “I’m going to be doing some followup, getting a report from Washington state patrol that might give me a little insight as to how he got ended up down there. The speculation right now is that he did hitchhike his way through Canada and into Washington state.”
He says investigators believe Luther was headed back to Arizona, where he’d been living with a grandparent until last month, when he arrived in Fairbanks to live with his family. Investigators say Luther has run away from home twice since he moved back.
Welborn says Luther will stay at a Crisis Residential Center in Washington until he’s brought back in a few days. He says the Fairbanks Office of Children Services will then take over the case.
Marcey Luther says now that she can breathe easy, the family can begin sorting things out.
 “We’re very relieved,” she said. “And now we have a lot of questions that need to be answered.”