Missing student returns

Missing student returns

A week after missing freshman William Lamar returned safely home to Lexington, Mass., his parents said they are still beside themselves with happiness.

“We’re certainly feeling relief,” said Bruce Lamar, his father. “We’re just ecstatic that he’s back, and grateful for all the kind thoughts and efforts.”

Lamar, 18, unexpectedly drained his bank account and boarded an American Airlines flight for London Oct. 28. Lamar has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism characterized by difficulty communicating with others. Although family friends described him as extremely high-functioning, there were still concerns for Lamar’s safety in a country unfamiliar to him.

There was no sign of Lamar for more than a month, although Northeastern police, Interpol and other authorities tracked his e-mail and ATM card activity hoping for leads. During Thanksgiving week, Lamar’s parents received an e-mail from Lamar in which he wrote that he was OK, but did not provide his location.

A week later, on Nov. 29, Lamar went to the U.S. Embassy in London and reported he had lost his passport. It was there that he was connected with an agent working on his case, his father said, and indicated to the agent he wanted to go home. Lamar flew home that afternoon and was reunited with his parents that evening.

His father said Lamar has yet to tell them why he left so unexpectedly, but that he is not pushing the issue with his son.

“We’re basically letting him have his space,” he said. “We’re letting him tell us things that he wants to relate to us. But we haven’t been asking.”

His father said the family will be in touch with Northeastern about Lamar’s future at the university.

“We’re working with Northeastern, and also letting William decide what he would like to do,” he said.

Both President Richard Freeland and Vice President for Student Affairs Ed Klotzbier have been notified of Lamar’s return. Klotzbier said while he couldn’t discuss Lamar’s case specifically, the university does all it can to help students in this sort of situation.

“We care about our students, and we’ll help any student with an issue get what they need to succeed at Northeastern,” Klotzbier said.

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