Having so significantly reduced my accumulating NamUs updates pile, I have turned my focus to all the runaways stacked and waiting. Most of them don’t take very long at all to write. At the rate of about 20 a day, the folder should be just about empty by tomorrow.
Of course, some of the cases turn out to be not runaways. Jiovany/Giovany/Giovanni/Xovane Gomez, for example, who went missing with four other men, one his uncle, when they apparently decided to go shopping just across the border in Mexico. That was almost two years ago and they haven’t been heard from since. No one knows what happened, other than that it probably wasn’t good.
Forest Ferguson ran from Carlbrook School, a boarding school for troubled teens. I don’t know much about it. Before he came to Carlbrook, Forest was at Diamond Ranch Academy, which I’ve heard is quite horrible. I don’t know anything about whatever problems lead to Forest being placed in residential treatment. All I know is that he hated Carlbrook bad enough to run away and he’s been gone almost two years.
I have serious concerns about such institutions. Some of them can be good, but there is so much potential for abuse, and it seems like a lot of those places just basically torture and brainwash the kids into good behavior. Back when I was a teenager, I would definitely have qualified for one of those “therapeutic boarding schools.” If it was a good place, I probably would have benefited. But then I would have graduated and returned home to the very environment which messed me up so badly in the first place, and it would have solved nothing.
As for Forest Ferguson, his grandparents would like to hear from him and apparently didn’t support him being sent away in the first place: on their website they say, “We know you weren’t happy at that school. You ran away. Good! You showed initiative, strength of character and spirit, and we’re proud of you standing up for your rights.” I hope Forest is all right. He’s over 18 now.