Missing Teen Hid at School, Lived on Fruit for 4 Days

Sheriff's office would like to be repaid for search
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2015 1:16 AM CDT
Missing Teen Hid at School, Lived on Fruit for 4 Days
Connor Sullivan is seen in this photo provided by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.   (Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – A California teenager who disappeared for four days appears to have survived by foraging—at his high school. Connor Sullivan, 17, vanished after first period at the Monta Vista High School campus in Cupertino last Monday and returned to his family on Thursday night, telling them he had been hiding at the school and surviving on fruit from surrounding trees and water from fountains, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. As his family pleaded for him to return home last week, deputies and hundreds of volunteers searched the area for the teenager. His family says he walked in the front door soon after friends brought over his favorite pizza.

While his motivation for running away hasn't been reported, a police spokesman tells the Los Angeles Times that Connor, who slept under bleachers and used portable toilets, "did not want to be found." He says the sheriff's office has looked into whether Connor's family can be ordered to reimburse the office for the search but hasn't found any law that allows it. In a statement released to KRON, the family thanks officials and volunteer searchers and says the teenager has "expressed the deepest sorrow and regret for his actions. He sees how his actions have impacted others around him and understands there is no excuse for the concern and worry he has caused." (Also this month, a mom and daughter who went missing while visiting New York City were found.)

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