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Missing Brookline teen found safe in NYC

Published: January 17, 2014
Section: News


Brookline teenager Caleb Jacoby, whose disappearance last week provoked a massive community search effort before he was found safely in New York City on Jan. 9, ran away on his own, according to the Brookline Police Department.

Jacoby, the 16-year-old son of Jeff Jacoby, a columnist for The Boston Globe, went missing from his home at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 6 and was found in Times Square in New York City on Thursday night.

During the week, hundreds of volunteers scoured the Boston area in an effort organized by Maimonides School, where Jacoby is in 11th grade. Jacoby’s disappearance particularly struck a nerve with Jewish communities throughout the New England and Tri-State Area, which led to a large effort to find him. Jewish organizations throughout greater Boston distributed fliers with Jacoby’s picture, which were disseminated widely through social media. The Maimonides School itself was lauded for its search efforts, and was described as being immensely helpful in the process. According to Brookline Police Officer Ronnie McNeil, efforts by the school to find Jacoby were “unbelievable.” “Everyone was involved in the school,” he said.

McNeil further stated that there was no criminal element to Jacoby’s disappearance, and the police will investigate the matter no further. “He went on his own,” McNeil said.

According to a press release from the Brookline police department published Thursday night, Brookline Police worked with other police departments around the east coast and obtained information that Jacoby was in New York, prompting his finding.

“The Brookline Police, working with many other agencies over the past few days were able to provide information to the New York City Police Department that Caleb Jacoby may be in the area of Times Square,” the statement said. “Based upon this information at approximately 9 p.m. New York City Police informed us they had located Caleb and he was safe and sound. Plans are now being formulated to transport Caleb back home. Thanks to all agencies that helped in this investigation. Also thanks to all those who took to social media to help get the story out.”

Jeff Jacoby turned to social media Thursday night to thank everyone who helped in the search for his son.

“All we can think of at this moment is how wonderful it will be to see Caleb again and shower him with love,” he tweeted. “Words can’t express our gratitude for the extraordinary outpouring of kindness and support that we have received from so many people.”

Shayna Jacoby ’16, a student at Brandeis University and Caleb Jacoby’s cousin, expressed her gratitude for Caleb’s safe return. “The whole family felt a tremendous sense of relief when Caleb was found, and we are so grateful for the outpouring of support we received from all over the world,” she said.

According to the National Runaway Safeline, approximately 1.6 million children run away each year. Nearly 800,000 children younger than 18 go missing each year for other reasons, such as getting lost, injured or abducted, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Of these, 99 percent return home safely.