Teen left at Atlanta airport found in Macon woods

Traveler, 18, got on shuttle and ended up lost 80 miles away

Friday, June 3, 2011 4:52 PM
Last updated 4:57 PM
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ATLANTA — A Canadian teenager who vanished from Atlanta's airport will be reunited with his mother Friday night after spending five days living in a wooded area in central Georgia, surviving only on water in scorching heat, authorities said.

Eustace Victor Martin  Georgia Newspaper Partnership/ Atlanta Journal Constitution
Georgia Newspaper Partnership/ Atlanta Journal Constitution
Eustace Victor Martin

Eustace Victor Martin was found Friday morning, exhausted and hungry but otherwise in good health, Bibb County sheriff's Sgt. Sean DeFoe said.

"When the deputy asked him what he wanted to do, he said he just wants to go home," DeFoe said. "His mother is on the way from Vancouver now and should be here this evening so we can reunite them."

Martin, 18, was flying from St. Kitts in the Caribbean back home to Vancouver, Canada, after visiting his father in the islands.

He was supposed to board a connecting flight in Atlanta, but apparently got confused at the airport and slept on benches just outside until security told him he couldn't sleep there, Bibb County sheriff's officials said.

Martin then boarded a shuttle van, which took him about 80 miles southeast to Macon.

"I don't think he really knew how far the city of Macon is from the Atlanta airport," DeFoe said. "With no radio or TV or anything like that, I don't think he understood everyone in Atlanta was looking for him."

The teen stayed in a wooded area near the shuttle service company for several days, surviving only on water, authorities said. Authorities said they aren't sure where he got the water, but he did have around $50 in cash and there are some convenience stores in the area.

On Friday morning, he knocked on the door of a nearby residence and asked for food and water. The occupants called the sheriff's office, and Martin was taken to the Medical Center of Central Georgia for treatment of dehydration and malnutrition, DeFoe said.

While the teen lived outside, temperatures soared into the triple digits, DeFoe said.

"You're an entire country away from your mom, and your dad," DeFoe said. "That's a scary situation. Eighteen years old is considered an adult, but that could be scary for anyone."

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Patty-P 06/03/11 - 05:01 pm
Glad he made it home.

Glad he made it home.

dougk 06/03/11 - 05:10 pm
My, God!!! So many lingering

My, God!!! So many lingering questions...it boggles the mind.

micbare 06/03/11 - 06:20 pm
There is something not right

There is something not right about this. I wonder if he is mentally challenged. Somebody I am sure would have let him called home if he had asked. I believe something is being left out of this story.

happychimer 06/03/11 - 07:23 pm
Alone in a strange country

Alone in a strange country can be scary for anyone.

proudgunowner 06/04/11 - 06:49 am
Where was his plane ticket

Where was his plane ticket that he used to get to ATL? It would have had his connecting flight info and security at the airport should have gotten him on a flight....something is missing from this story.

corgimom 06/04/11 - 07:09 am
The Atlanta airport can be

The Atlanta airport can be very intimidating.

And 18 year old boys do all sorts of stuff- because they're 18.

And maybe he didn't want to return home to Canada. It's really hard for kids to go back and forth between parents, it can be very emotional and difficult for them. Having to say goodbye and leave their parent can really affect them, especially if the visit was happy and they weren't ready to leave.

If you were 18, what would you want to do- have a vacation with your dad in the Caribbean, or go back home to Mom, chores, discipline, homework, school, same-old, same-old.

pommom38 06/04/11 - 10:58 am
He was 18, if he didn't WANT

He was 18, if he didn't WANT to leave and go back home, then he didn't have to! So that wasn't his issue.. His dad may not have wanted him to stay even if the kid wanted to.
I can totally understand his fear or anxiety, but I don't understand how a 18 year old doesn't bother to ask where the heck is the airport??? Nah, i'll sit in the woods starving and thirsty for days on end.
Peculiar kid for sure..

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