Runaway, 14, Lived in Walmart for 2 Days

He spent 54 hours at an around-the-clock store before being discovered

By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff | Suggested by jgmann

Posted Aug 14, 2014 1:00 AM CDT | Updated Aug 14, 2014 4:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 14-year-old boy who was sent to stay with his aunt in Corsicana, Texas, when his parents went out of town found an interesting place to live for a few days. On July 28, the boy, who the family says has a history of running away, was reported missing, and two and a half days later he was found—in the town's round-the-clock Walmart, burrowed into a makeshift fort among paper towels and toilet paper. He even built a second hideaway in the stroller and baby aisle and was apparently so afraid of being caught that he changed his clothes regularly and wore diapers so as not to have to use the store's facilities.

“You never expect that you’re at Walmart and someone has been living there for ... days,” one customer told CBS News. Child Protective Services said this is the kind of case it's typically called in to investigate but wasn't this time, while police said it's not standard to call the agency in on runaway cases unless there are signs of abuse or neglect; they listed the boy in "fine condition." He reportedly tried to flee when he was found. Walmart didn't give any indication it would file charges, but the case has been sent to the county's Juvenile Probation Office, reports ABC News. (A 3-year-old girl, meanwhile, recently survived 11 days lost in the Siberian wilderness.)

In this May 9, 2013, file photo, a worker pushes shopping carts in front of a Walmart store in La Habra, Calif.
In this May 9, 2013, file photo, a worker pushes shopping carts in front of a Walmart store in La Habra, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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