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 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."