Parents Are Worried After Their Son Goes Missing on a Walk – Find Him 3 Weeks Later in an Unlikely Place
Micah Byrum-Kocurek met some angels one fateful December day.
It’s one of every parent’s worst fears that their child goes missing. If your child has special needs, that fear can be especially prevalent, because you know they need that extra layer of care. If they do go missing, you can only hope that they stay safe in the world without you until you reunite.
That was the very real situation Kate and Brandon Byrum-Kocurek faced in Houston late last year when their 17-year-old son Micah went missing.
A Shocking Disappearance
Last year on Dec. 10, Micah went for a short walk and didn’t return. Shortly before he left the family apartment, he had been having a conversation with his mom in which she reiterated how he needed to do his chores and get along with his four siblings.
Roughly 15 minutes after Micah left, Kate and Brandon began looking for him.
“I looked both ways and across the street. I thought he would walk this way because this is the way we walk his little sister to school,” she told a local Fox News station. “He left his phone, he left his shoes, he left in exactly what he was wearing. Black basketball shorts with red accents and a navy t-shirt.”
When they couldn’t locate Micah, they grew extremely worried. The family contacted Houston Police, the Texas Center for the Missing, and Texas EquuSearch. Meanwhile, the temperature was dropping, Christmas was approaching, and there was still no sign of the 17-year-old.
“It’s going to get colder, and he’s going to be outside tonight. He’s going to be hungry, and he’s going to be cold. And he’s going to get sick,” Kate worried. “I do not know how this family will get through Christmas without him, and that is my biggest fear is that we are not going to have him home.”
A Desperate Search
The family was newer to the area, and Micah struggled with multiple learning disabilities, so Kate worried he was lost. Meanwhile, she was also dealing with her own health struggles.
“I have Stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer, and it is spreading. It’s already in my liver,” she said. “I’m concerned that he may be lost. He’s dyslexic and dysgraphic. I want my boy home. I don’t care about missing appointments; I don’t care about anything. I just want my boy home,” she added.
The family spent ample time postering the neighborhood with Micah’s photos and contacting local businesses. They also updated the search on social media in hopes that someone would come across him. Eventually, someone did and sent a photo of Micah holding a sign asking for food.
“Someone on the neighborhood app had been following our posts,” Kate revealed in a video update on Fox News. “He just texted me and said, ‘I don’t think that’s him,’ but I said, ‘That’s him; that’s my son.’”
Kate and Brandon rushed to the area, where they were reunited with their son three weeks after he went missing, three days after Christmas, and three days before his 18th birthday, when the entire tone of the search would have changed.
So how did Micah stay safe, fed, and warm for three weeks on the streets? It turns out that the day after he went missing, a homeless couple took him in.
“That couple had been feeding him and taking care of him,” Kate said. “They don’t have electricity or anything, and they don’t have social media, so they didn’t know that he was being looked for.”
Once Kate and Brandon met them, they asked that their identities and location remain confidential to protect their privacy. Still, Kate was grateful for the kind way the watched after her son.
“They fed him every day. The lady was taking his clothes and washing them. They found him warmer clothes. He’s in really good condition. Those people, they’re his angels. They’re my angels,” she said.
For his part, Micah is also extremely grateful to be home. “I hope that we can find more people because I know there’s a lot of other kids that went missing that aren’t as lucky as I am to get found,” he added to the publication.
Now, with Micah home safe and sound, Kate is back doing her treatments. As for the family, they have a new sense of gratitude that they’re all together after spending a holiday apart.
Practice These Situations With Your Kids
No parent ever wants to be in this kind of situation, nor do they want to really think about them. The fact that one couple, who had so little, was willing to help a stranger on the streets does fill your heart. But another takeaway from this story is the importance of educating children about what to do when they are lost.
Work with kids to memorize your phone number and address. Write your phone number inside their shoes just in case if you’re going to be out at a public place where they can get lost. Teach them about strange behaviors to watch out for from kids and adults. And practice what they should do if they are ever separated from you.
It’s not fun to think about, but if you are ever in a situation where your kid goes missing, hopefully, your outcome will be just as happy as this family’s ending was.