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15 Years After He Vanished Without a Trace, Hope

Daniel Yuen's family thinks he's living in San Diego
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2019 11:00 AM CST
Daniel Yuen's missing poster.   (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

(Newser) – Nearly 15 years after Daniel Yuen disappeared without a trace at age 16, his family has "the best news we've had in so long"—but they still don't have Daniel back. The mystery began in January 2004, when Yuen's family sent the teen, who'd started struggling with depression, to a boarding school meant to help kids with depression. On Feb. 8, 2004—just weeks after his arrival—he vanished, ABC News reports. The Cedu School, located in San Bernardino, Calif., reported him as a runaway to the local sheriff's office, saying he left voluntarily without his money or belongings. Keith Raymond, a police officer turned private investigator who'd worked at the school for a time, took up the case. A month after Yuen went missing, a tip came in that he'd been spotted panhandling in San Diego, and while Raymond couldn't find him there at the time, he thinks he has now.

Back in 2004, Raymond brought in K9s and was twice able to get "100% hits" on Yuen's scent at the park where he was reportedly spotted. But searchers couldn't find the teen, and years went by with no further leads. Then, last month, an unknown person left Raymond a voicemail saying Yuen was "fine" and "still in the same area where you originally searched," but that he didn't want to be found. Raymond went back to San Diego with an age-progression photo and found multiple people who recognized the picture and said they'd seen the man in it with a white woman and a baby girl. Raymond believes it's Yuen, who has likely been living under the radar in San Diego for years. Yuen's younger sister says it's amazing news, but she wonders why he hasn't called home in all these years. His mother tells KGTV they just want him to know they love him. (For more, including allegations of harsh treatment at the now-closed Cedu School, see ABC News' full report.)

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