UPDATE: According to The AWARE Foundation, Inc’s Facebook page, Justin Brown has been found safe.
The post stated, “We are so happy to update that Justin Brown is home safe!!! Thank you everyone who has prayed are shared his flyer. Words can not express how much his mother and father and family appreciates everyone of you!”
SEMMES, Al (WKRG) — A 17 year old disappeared from his home in Semmes nearly four months ago.
“He had no problems with his grades or with bullying or anything like that,” says Regina Smith.
“He and his friends are off the charts, I mean they’re very intelligent kids,” says Detective Lucas Bolton.
Justin Brown left home February 21. His mother, Regina Smith saw him going to bed the night before, but his bed was already made by the time she went to wake him up at 5:30 the next morning.
“It was horrible. It was horrible. My heart, like, jumped out of my chest,” says Smith.
What’s more disconcerting, and truly bizarre, is he left without a trace.
“The shoes were left, his cell phone was left, his computer was left, he just disappeared,” says Bolton.
It seems Justin left barefoot and with only the clothes on his back. He erased all messages on his phone, wiped his computer’s hard drive clean. His mother says Justin was an avid gamer, addicted to the computer.
“We actually had to turn our internet off at 9:00 at night to keep him from staying up all night,” says Smith.
But they fear that that’s where it started. In the games, Justin used an app called Discord to talk to other gamers. They believe someone on that app instructed him how to run away.
“Wherever he is, I believe he was, I don’t want to say coerced, but he felt trust with whoever he went with,” says Bolton.
Now, 108 days later, they’re just hoping for some kind of word.
“He hasn’t contacted his mother, he hasn’t called anybody, and that’s the most disturbing part of it,” says Bolton.
“But I would definitely want him to know that he is loved and missed and he needs to come home,” says Smith.
Officials are warning parents now about these apps where you can chat with people you don’t know. They want parents to ask their kids questions and be cognizant of what your child is doing online. Please share the poster of Justin to help bring him home.