Missing Teen Back Home

Days after he went missing, prompting his family to notify law enforcement and the media, 16-year-old William Dean Damon made it home Thursday.

A friend whom Damon was staying with in Orlando saw the news reports about the missing teen and called police.

The Plant High junior had left last weekend to visit other friends in his former hometown of Winter Park with some clothing, his cell phone and cash in his pocket, said his father, Scott Damon.

He agreed to come home to Tampa at 4 p.m. Monday and texted his parents at 4:01 p.m. that day to say he was on the way. But then he decided to stay with another friend in Orlando. Before turning off his phone, he didn’t alert his parents of his change in plans, according to Tampa police

When he didn’t arrive home, his parents and two sisters became worried.

Scott Damon said they called all his friends and his girlfriend in Winter Park and even contacted AT&T to get a trace on his phone.

When those methods failed, the Damons placed a call to the Tampa police.

They filed a missing person’s report. Then contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. No one had seen their son and his phone was turned off. So the family reached out to the media and held a heartfelt press conference Wednesday, pleading for anyone with information to come forward.

The pleas worked. Damon called home and his parents came to pick him up in Orlando — just in time for Thanksgiving.

St. Petersburg Times

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News Talk Florida Staff