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Missing teen says he was lost; mother describes search



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VERNAL — Andre Duran, the 14-year-old who was lost in the Uintas for four days appeared in juvenile court this morning. He told law enforcement he got lost and did not run away.

Duran's mother, Kelly Harris, said Monday she wants more information about the wilderness program her son was on and when he was first reported missing. She doesn't expect to be able to see him until the end of the week.

Harris said she wishes she could have been there when Duran was found. She and family members were searching another area.

"We were just getting way too over-emotional. We didn't want to get in the way and we just figured we could cover the other bases, so my mother and I went to Wyoming."

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Duran had been with the Journey Impact Ranch for a couple of weeks before the wilderness trek. Counselors reported him missing last Thursday morning, believing he had run away.

"The sense that I get from the Sheriff that took him in is that he just got lost and turned around in that huge forest. He tried to go to the bathroom and just didn't even know where he was."

Duran appeared in court in Vernal this morning and is being held in the Split Mountain Youth Detention Center. He is in state custody, his mother said, because she and his father wanted him in full-time treatment. She wants everyone to know he is not a bad kid, just troubled.

"We weren't abusive in any way. He was never a criminal. It was just a kid having a really, really hard time who just needed some extra help."

She and Duran's father now want him out of the program and out of state custody.

"We are trying to petition the state to just have him come home and live with his father. We think that would be a better environment for him and then just have day treatment."

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Carole Mikita

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