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.