PUNA, Hawaii: People across the state of Hawaii were relieved to see young Disen Heu-Aragaki reunited with his family on Thursday, after the story of the missing 9 year old went viral over social media, radio and local television.
Police said the boy went missing after he left his Kurtistown home on Wednesday, following an argument with his mother.
It was later learned that a family found him wandering alone on 40th Avenue in Orchidland nearly 2 miles from his home, according to police. They fed him and let him spend the night. On Thursday, the family took the boy with them to a construction site in Hilo. Their relative learned that the boy had been reported missing and called police to report his location.
Detectives and patrol units responded to an address on Railroad Avenue and determined that the child was unharmed. As a precautionary measure, Fire Department medics examined the boy and confirmed that he was in good health and had not been injured.
You can see the video of the re-united family, as well as footage of the intensive search around Puna, here:
Now, police have more to say on the matter.
From a Hawaii County Police media release:
Big Island police have initiated a custodial interference case in connection with a 9-year-old boy who was taken in by a Puna family overnight after the child ran away from home Wednesday afternoon.
“We want to public to understand that it is not OK to keep a lost child overnight before calling police,” said Assistant Chief Henry Tavares. “The proper response is to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible after you find a child who is lost or wandering alone without adult supervision.”
Police urge parents to keep a current photo of their children, along with other important details—such as physical description and medical history—that will help police if a child goes missing.
Members of the public are also encouraged to sign up for Nixle alerts, which will allow them to receive email or text messages from the Police Department. To find out more about Nixle alerts, go to the Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com and click on “Sign up for email and text alerts.”