After public criticism, Facebook has finally agreed to help a family with their search for a missing teenage boy who disappeared from the town of Devon in the United Kingdom. In an appeal through the media, the parents of Arthur Heeler-Frood had asked the social network to turn over his location data to police to help them find him.
Facebook initially refused the request to turn over Arthur’s location information, but they have now agreed to help with the search for Arthur. It is now known that the social media company is helping police and a missing persons group called Missing People in their search for the teen.
Arthur Heeler-Frood, 15, disappeared on September 6, 2016, and has not been heard from since. His parents reported him as a missing person to the police after he left his house that morning on a bike for school and never returned home.
In a letter that his parents received in the mail the next day, Arthur said that he ran away because he was bored with his life. He promised his parents in the letter that he would not be gone for more than a year. So far, he is already two months into his youthful adventure. In the letter, he also warned his parents not to try to find him or make him return home.
Unfortunately, Arthur’s letter gave his parents no clues as to what he was planning to do or where he was planning to go.
It is likely that Arthur’s disappearing stunt was influenced by George Orwell’s book about living a life of travel and poverty, Down and Out in Paris and London. It is known that he read the book and talked about it with his classmates before taking off.
Arthur’s mother, Caroline Heeler-Frood, says that her son is an adventuresome kid who may be trying to follow in the footsteps of his older siblings, who have a history of traveling. However, Caroline says that Arthur was raised in the country and he is not street smart. In addition, she said that Arthur also liked to watch survival television shows and spy movies like the Jason Bourne series.
The search for Arthur has been made more difficult since he is essentially traveling off the grid, without mobile devices or bank cards. In addition, police have not been able to find any surveillance video footage of him. That is saying a lot in the U.K., where public surveillance cameras are everywhere.
Arthur is a white male, 5’4″ in height, slim build and has short brown hair. It is believed that he may have cut his hair even shorter after he disappeared, possibly shaving it off. He also may be disguising himself by wearing hooded sweatshirts.
The police say that they have some leads on Arthur’s possible location, but so far they have not been able to find him. The police and family are asking people who have seen Arthur to share any information with them regarding his possible whereabouts.