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Missing Wylie Teen Found Safe Nearly 20 Miles From Last Known Location

Madeline Schmitt | CBSDFW.com |
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This story was updated on March 9 at 6:02 p.m.

MOORESVILLE, Ind. (CBSDFW.COM) - A 15-year-old with Wylie ISD who went missing in Indianapolis while on a school-sponsored trip has been found safe.

Stephen Colbert was found in Mooresville, Ind. Saturday morning, about 20 miles southwest of his last known location.

Colbert was walking on the side of the road when he was spotted. A good Samaritan called 9-1-1, then drove the boy to a Steak ‘n Shake restaurant.

Mooresville police received that call around 11:30 a.m.

Officers arrived and found Colbert inside, who is said to be safe and OK. He will soon be checked on by a doctor.

Colbert was said to be dehydrated and disoriented, but otherwise unharmed.

Just as father Erick Colbert was about to board a flight to Indianapolis at DFW Airport Saturday morning, he got the call that Stephen was found safe.

“I can hardly think. I’m so happy. I want to thank the news for putting the story out there because somebody identified something,” Colbert said.

Upon questioning, Indianapolis police say Colbert told them he missed the bus to the hotel, when he went back inside the building to get something.

Police say Colbert told investigators he got a ride from a woman who gave him a pillow and blanket.  The next thing he remembered was waking up Saturday morning, and walking.

Police don’t suspect foul play and say Colbert was unharmed.

“[My wife and I] have been talking about, are there medications that he has for his asthma—if he took some is it having an effect. Are there things we need to have checked out by doctors,” Erick Colbert said.

A statement released Sunday by Erick Colbert said the family has been cautious about questioning their son in his state of recovery.

“While we are not sure of everything that occurred, we believe a combination of distress over being separated from his band team, possible effects of medication he was taking, which we know causes loss of appetite and dehydration, and freezing nighttime temperatures in Indianapolis may all have contributed to the decisions he mad,” the statement read.

 

This photo was tweeted by Wylie High School’s principal Saturday:

Wylie ISD superintendent Dr. David Vinson released this statement regarding the teen’s finding:

“We are extremely relieved that Stephen is back with his family.  There are still questions, but the important thing is he is safe.  I know that the entire Wylie community, and many others, were praying for him and his family and this is an answered prayer.

On behalf of the Wylie ISD, thank you to the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, the Butler University Police Department and all the other law enforcement agencies for their efforts and cooperation in helping bring Stephen home.”

Wylie High School Principal Virdie Montgomery and Vinson arrived in Indianapolis on Friday, and joined a massive community effort to find the missing student.

Colbert was reported missing on Thursday, March 6. He was last seen on the Butler University campus for a band concert.

CBS 11 is told the teen never returned to the hotel where the field trip group was staying that night. The Wylie ISD students and faculty were attending the Music For All National Festival in Indianapolis.

Colbert either lost or misplaced his cellphone, according to Erick Colbert.

Wylie police and Indianapolis police quickly joined forces to locate the teen and safely return him home.

Wylie ISD had sent their top administrators to join the search.

“We’re hoping he just got on the wrong bus maybe ended up at the wrong hotel and he’s scared to come back because he thinks he’ll be in trouble,” Ian Halperin with Wylie ISD said at the time the teen was still missing.

At this time, it is unclear why Colbert went missing. His parents say they’re just happy he is home.

Colbert’s father told CBS 11 that he is “overwhelmed with happiness at the moment.”

Colbert will travel with his family back to Texas.

email: mschmitt@cbs.com

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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