Concern growing over missing 12-year-old

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SPRINGVILLE -- Concern is growing about the welfare of a 12-year-old Springville boy who has been missing six days now and is believed to be a runaway.

Chad Stilson's father Dennis says his son snuck out of the house early Saturday morning, taking with him just a backpack and a cell phone -- but no charger. He hasn't been seen by any family members since.

The parents were hopeful Chad would come home after a day, but are now convinced that while he may have left on his own accord, something has happened to him.

I just want to find him. He's not in trouble. It doesn't matter what he's done, he's still my boy. I just want him back and I miss him.

–Dennis Stilson

Dennis Stilson says Chad had recently been grounded for ten days, but the night before he left he'd been in good spirits and had played games with the family. Police say Chad stopped by a friend's house and hasn't contacted anyone since.

Chad was possibly spotted in Hobble Crek Canyon, but no solid proof he's OK.

"I just want to find him," Dennis said. "He's not in trouble. It doesn't matter what he's done, he's still my boy. I just want him back and I miss him."

Chad is described as a good kid, who is tender-hearted, and helpful. He is currently listed on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as an "endangered runaway" along with 18 other children from Utah, but that number is not representative of the number of missing kids.

According to officials, at any given time there are approximately 140 unaccounted for juveniles entered in National Crime Information Center database for the state of Utah. The majority of them are runaways -- many of whom left foster or group homes.

A search has been organized by the Garrett Bardsley Foundation for Saturday at 9 a.m. Volunteers are asked to meet at the LDS chapel at 1230 S. 400 East in Springville. The group will be going door to door with fliers.

Police have investigated a few unconfirmed sightings in the area. If you have any information about Chad, you can call Springville police at 801-489-9421.

A facebook page has also been set up to help find Chad.


Story written with information from Sarah Dallof and Sam Penrod.

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