A teenage boy from Corsicana, Texas, recently ran away from home and found refuge in the unlikeliest of places – at Walmart! Employees of the Corsicana Walmart discovered the 14-year-old kid after he had been living at the store for four days straight. To their great surprise, he had built a secret hidden compound for himself where he managed to live undetected.
News channels in the U.S. have released exclusive photographs of the two campsites that the teenager had built. One was located on the baby products-aisle, behind big stroller boxes. The second one was behind stacks of paper towels and toilet paper on a different aisle.
Surprisingly, customers who had walked down these aisles didn’t have the slightest suspicion of the teenager’s presence. “You never expect that you’re at Walmart and someone has been living there for four days. That’s crazy,” said Walmart customer Myrna Aguilar.
The two hidden campsites consisted of a make-shift bed, and room to store food and other items that he’d stolen from the store. He’d conducted the petty thefts rather ingeniously – by making a small crack in the back wall of the drink aisle to grab juice. He even managed to get himself a fish from the pet section of the store. To avoid detection, he would change his clothing every few hours, which he would also steal from the store. In fact, he was so concerned about being caught that he wore diapers instead of using the store’s restroom.
The boy was eventually discovered when employees found a trash trail that led straight to his hideouts. He tried to run out of the store, but they managed to grab hold of him and notify the police, who released the boy into the custody of relatives. According to the police, the boy lives with his parents but disappeared from his aunt’s home on July 28, where he was staying while his parents were out of town.
“In runaway cases it is not standard procedure to notify Child Protective Services unless there is an indication that the juvenile was a victim of possible abuse or neglect or was living in a dangerous environment,” the police clarified. Since this did not appear to be the case, the authorities simply let the boy go home.
Meanwhile, Walmart customers who witnessed the boy’s discovery are wondering about his parents’ attitude towards the whole episode. “I’m wondering what his parents think, and how come he didn’t come home, and why aren’t they worried about him,” asked customer Megan Nicholson.