After Nathan Torres hopped onto his bicycle and ran away two days before Halloween and as days went by, the family of the 13-year-old worried that the runaway teen may never return.
“I went online because we thought the worse when a kid goes missing,” said his sister Angelica Martinez. “He could have been kidnapped or tricked into meeting people (from) online.”
While the family filed a missing person report the following day on Oct. 30 police struggled to find any sign of Torres — until a tip from social media helped authorities locate the boy.
Torres was involved in a traffic collision about a quarter-mile away from his home, only 30 minutes after he had ridden off from his mother’s home.
The teen suffered a major head injury and was transported to a Moreno Valley Hospital, however, since he had no ID on him, he was admitted as a John Doe. While police checked with local hospitals, they could not locate the teenager since Torres was listed as a John Doe and since doctors and nurses believed he was much older, around the age of 20 or 21 years old.
He laid in his Riverside University Health System hospital bed alone for five days before his family and police found him.
“He’s never been awake since the accident,” said his sister. “I’m sure that he could feel that none of us were here for him. He’s just a baby.”
On the day that he was found the Hemet Police Department released a statement regarding the teenager.
“Follow up measures were taken by Hemet Pd and local area hospitals were contacted,” the statement said. “Although several hospitals were contacted the juvenile was not located due to being admitted as John Doe.”
Five days after Torres went missing a Riverside Sheriff’s deputy saw the missing juvenile report and notified the family that the John Doe at Riverside Medical Center was in fact the missing Torres.
“It’s just hard to think that he was alone,” said his sister.
The Riverside University Health System Medical Center released a statement about the incident but denied to comment on Torres and his case.
Newsbreak | Contributed
Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle