Jun 3, 2011

Via AJC:

An 18-year-old Canadian man reported missing after he failed to make a connecting flight six days ago in Atlanta, was found Friday morning near Macon after apparently getting confused.

Instead of boarding a plane, Eustace Victor Martin apparently left Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and took a bus from Atlanta to Macon, Sgt. Sean Defoe with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office told the AJC.

Martin told deputies he initially tried to sleep on benches near the airport, but was told by security personnel he could not stay there. He then boarded a Groome Transportation van and traveled southbound on I-75 to Macon. There, he left the bus station and wandered into nearby woods, where he spent several days.

"He was staying on some benches, confused about everything once he missed his flight," Defoe said. "I don't think he realized how far away he was from Atlanta."

Martin was flying from St. Kitts in the Caribbean to Vancouver, Canada, and made it to Atlanta, where he was supposed to change planes for a Saturday night flight to Seattle. But he never got on the second flight, and a search was launched to find the teen.

While in the woods, Martin lived only on water. He had a travel bag with him, Defoe said.

Early Friday, the teen knocked on the door of a home on nearby Sheraton Drive to ask for food and water, Defoe said.

Not knowing who the teen was, the homeowner called the sheriff's office, Defoe said. After locating the teen, deputies took him to the Medical Center of Central Georgia, where he was treated for dehydration and malnourishment and later released.

Martin's family planned to travel to Macon later Friday to be reunited with the teen, who will remain with deputies until then, Defoe said. His parents will likely travel to Macon the same way Martin did -- fly into Atlanta, then take a van to meet the teen.

Martin was born in Canada, where he lives with his mother and step-father, and traveled to the Caribbean to visit his father.

"He's in a different country and he was probably scared," Defoe said. "Bless his heart. He just wants to go home."


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