Austin Childs

Project Jason has put up a poster for Austin Childs, a seventeen-year-old boy who disappeared after a boat accident in 2005. It reminds me of a story I thought I’d share:

Several years ago, a stranger contacted me on AOL Instant Messenger and said right away that she was Austin Childs’s mother. I assumed she must want to speak to me about his Charley Project page, though I wasn’t sure how she got my screenname. Anyway, she told me all about Austin’s disappearance — details I already knew. And showed me a bunch of websites and articles about it that I’d already seen. Then she showed me his Charley page, and I suddenly realized this woman had no idea who I was. She told me she had a habit of contacting random people to talk about her son, as a form of therapy, and she just happened to contact me. It was a big coincidence. Anyway, by then we’d been chatting for like half an hour and it seemed a bit late to tell her I was the administrator of the Charley Project, so I didn’t say anything and just kept listening to her go on about her son. Eventually she signed off and I never spoke to her again.

5 thoughts on “Austin Childs

  1. Bill September 26, 2009 / 12:31 am

    Back in February I got an email from a reporter who wanted me to call him and talk about Debbie Key. It was during the time when Debbie’s suspected killer had just been arrested in another part of NC, (for another offence) and my friends were getting attention from the media over it.

    So I call this man and we have an interview over the phone. The conversation went well, we were getting along fine, and well into the conversation he asked me,
    “What is your relationship with Debbie Key?”
    “Uh, you don’t know who I am?”
    “Someone gave me your email address and told me I can talk to you about Debbie Key. That’s all I know about you.”
    (I know who that was!)
    “Well there’s this website about Debbie Key…”
    “Oh yes, I’ve seen that website.”
    “Well I’m the ‘Bill’ who does this website.”

    For some time after that, I kept thinking about how awkward that could have been, but it actually went pretty smooth. To see the results of that interview, go here.

  2. Cheryl September 26, 2009 / 2:53 pm

    Forgive me for not knowing but who are you Bill and whats your connection to Debbie Key?

  3. Bill September 27, 2009 / 1:21 pm

    Hi Cheryl
    My name is Bill Widman and I do this website called Friends of Debbie Key. It’s about a friend who went missing in 1997 from Carrboro, NC. If you clck on my name where it appears in blue letters, I think it will take you to the website.

    This is also my connection with the Charley Project. Shortly after getting the website started I began getting hits showing Charley Project as “Refering URL.” I have been thankful ever since for having my friend’s story included in the project. I still get visitors who link from there, so I tend to think of us as friends.

    I hope that’s alright.

  4. JimmyBean October 1, 2009 / 6:55 am

    I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  5. Brigett reaYurttas December 28, 2015 / 4:51 pm

    Austin is my brother…. Thanks for caring about my brother story.

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