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
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)

(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.)

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Aug 14, 2014 9:35 PM CDT
I guess Wal Mart is better than a single wide.
Aug 14, 2014 4:23 PM CDT
I'm surprised the security people did not notice this kid. I thought they were trained to notice when people are in the store walking around not buying anything. He did it for two days. Maybe they should hire him as a consultant. What about the security cameras and the people who are supposed to be on the lookout for possible shoplifters? I guess the kid stayed hidden most of the time. The article said he had two hiding places, so he had to come out of hiding to go from one to the other. Maybe they need to send their security personnel(?) for a refresher course on security. Thank you.
Aug 14, 2014 10:14 AM CDT
I don't understand how he was discovered. But more importantly, this could be the greatest meme of the year: "The Wallmart Challenge". How many days can you live inside a Wallmart without being detected? Stealing is not allowed, one must pay for any food consumed or clothes used.