Missing Ariz. Teen's Car Found with Wallet, ID Inside
(RIDDLE, Ore.) -- A concerned father is scouring the Oregon wilderness for his 18-year-old son after the teen mysteriously vanished on a road trip home to Arizona from Washington state. Johnathan Croom was driving back to Arizona after visiting a friend in Seattle on Aug. 16. It is believed no one has heard from the teen since Aug. 18, according to a Douglas County, Ore., Sheriff's Office news release.
Croom's father, David Croom, told ABC's Good Morning America he sent his friend a text message on his way home that revealed he wanted to go "on an adventure." "She says, 'I hope you enjoy your adventure. Hello? Johnathan? Are you there?'" David Croom told ABC's Good Morning America. "That's the last time."
Croom said he fears his son may have been inspired by the 2007 film Into the Wild. The movie was inspired by the real-life events of Christopher McCandless, a young hiker who sought isolation in the Alaskan wilderness.
"We're talking about a kid who has been almost obsessed with this particular movie," he said. "My concern is that he's out there with very limited resources and not a lot of experience."
Authorities found Johnathan Croom's 2000 green Honda CR-V abandoned in Riddle, Ore., on Wednesday. The teen's wallet, photo ID, $200 cash and a book on outdoor survival tactics were left inside, leading police to believe he may not want to be found.
Since local authorities are not equipped to go deep into the wilderness, David Croom is hoping they will allow private rescue groups to help him with his search. Until then, Croom's father said he'll stop at nothing until he finds his son.
"I've never felt a fear like this," David Croom said. "It's unexplainable."
Johnathan Croom is described as 6'1" and 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on Croom is asked to contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
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