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 Nickolai Whelpley (12) 5/12/10 Arkansas

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Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida

PostSubject: Nickolai Whelpley (12) 5/12/10 Arkansas   Tue May 18, 2010 9:38 pm

Nickolai Whelpley found in wooded area near home

He had been gone for three days. Members of a family search party found Nickolai Whelpley in a wooded area, not far from his backyard where he was last seen.

"He's in good condition and is with the family and I'm not sure if they'll take him to go get checked out by a doctor or not but we're thankful that he is back with the family that he should be with," said Lt. Terry Hastings with Little Rock police.

Police aren't sure if he'd been in the woods the whole time, whether he had any food, water or shelter since Monday.

"We always have concerns for safety of children that run away; especially one as young as 12-years-old. This young man apparently doesn't go very far but he just kind of runs and then hides, reportedly eating out of trash cans the first time he ran away," said Hastings.

According to police, the search party wanted to find Whelpley quickly because there've been incidents, in the past, when he left the home unannounced.

In October 2008, Whelpley's adoptive father reported him missing. Police say he later came back on his own unharmed.

"Apparently this young man has some problems that the family is trying to work with him," said Hastings.

Police say cases of juveniles running away are not uncommon and are something they've dedicated a detective unit to in the last few years.

"That's something that we deal with quite frequently; almost all of them, they come home or are found. They don't do like this young man and run off and hide for whatever reason," Hastings said.

Detectives will follow up with the family once they've taken care of Whelpley's immediate needs.

Little Rock School District officials say Whelpley's schoolmates and teachers at Robinson Elementary were also very worried about him; and everyone is happy he's alive and well.

The Whelpleys adopted the 12-year-old from Russia. The first incident with police was back in 2008, but it's not clear how long he's been with the family.

The Whelpleys declined an interview.


Caylee Marie Anthony
8-9-05 to 12-11-08

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