"Bored" Missing Devon Schoolboy Slept Rough In Birmingham

16 November 2016, 15:46

Missing teenager

A schoolboy who ran away from home because he was bored of his life says he slept rough in Birmingham exploring the city.

Arthur Heeler-Frood had been missing from his home in Axminster, Devon, for more than two months but was found in Honiton on Tuesday - just 10 miles away.

The 15-year-old said: "I have spent the last 10 weeks exploring London, Birmingham and Manchester by foot, sleeping rough at night.''

In a statement released by Devon and Cornwall Police, he added: "I am very grateful to everyone who has helped my family in trying to ensure my safe return.

"I apologise to the police for the time they spent looking for me and for the worry I have caused family and friends.''

He was found by police at Honiton railway station on Tuesday afternoon after a member of the public saw him on a train travelling from Exeter.

Arthur's parents Jeremy and Caroline Heller-Frood said in a statement: "We are overjoyed to have Arthur home with us again; tired, grubby and rather smelly but otherwise none the worse for his experiences.

"We feel extremely lucky that he is safe and sound. Many thanks to Devon and Cornwall Police for their professionalism and their tireless search for Arthur.

"Thank you also to the media for their help in raising awareness of his disappearance and our deep gratitude to all our friends and family who have supported us through this difficult time.

"We now wish to spend some time in private with Arthur to settle him back home and to make some plans for his future."

He was last seen by his parents leaving the family home on the morning of September 6 and police launched an appeal for Arthur and also received assistance from Facebook and charity Missing People.

Last week the teenager's parents appeared on ITV's This Morning appealing for information about their son.

Viewers were read the contents of a letter Arthur had written stating that he would return in a year and asking that his parents not try to find him.

The letter said: "To Mum and Dad

"I have run away because I am bored of my life. Please don't try to find me or make me come home.

"I don't know how long I will be away for, but it won't be any longer than a year.

"You will find my school uniform in a bin bag in a small barn in the field on the green, down the road from Membury church. My bike is chained to the fence, there is a spare key to the lock of the window.

"Please can you apologise to the restaurant and tell them that I will no longer be able to work there.

"I know you will be upset, but understand that I have to do this.

"From Arthur.''

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