The search for a 14 year-old boy who went missing in Burbank ended after he was spotted at a popular gay bar in West Hollywood.
Smith went missing Wednesday morning from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank after his parents dropped him off and watched him board a SkyWest Airlines flight to Salt Lake City, Utah. The teen, who has autism, attends a specialized school in Salt Lake City, according to The Burbank Leader.
His commuter flight had returned to the gate after boarding due to undisclosed mechanical issues, at which point the passengers deplaned. Smith's parents were unaware of this, and since they did not pay an unaccompanied minor fee, lied about his age and did not reveal that Smith suffered from autism, no one on the flight crew was assigned to monitor him, reports ABC News.
Once Smith had exited the airport, KTLA reports that he borrowed money from strangers to take an MTA bus to Hollywood.
The teen was later found outside of Pizza Rustica on the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, after being spotted at The Abbey by someone who recognized him from news reports. The teen was trying to order a vodka and orange juice from manager Nick Lambert, who then reported his location to the authorities, reports KTLA.
Originally thought to be unintentional, it turns out Smith was attempting to run away. "He did not want to go back to the school he was at, and this was an opportunity for him," Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn told KTLA.
Cameron James Smith was in "good condition" when located and "was being transported back to Burbank," reports the Associated Press.