HOOD RIVER, Ore. (KOIN) — A 15-year-old boy with a serious brain injury who went missing during a family bike ride in Hood River earlier this week was found safe and is now back where he lives.
Benjamin Nuissl and his family went to Hood River Monday for a day trip. They were biking on a trail along the Columbia River when Benjamin got ahead of them.
Benjamin’s father Gunther admits it’s possible his son ran away. He’s done it before, but not because he’s a troubled teenager. Gunther says his son has a brain injury.
“He does have a serious brain injury, brain condition,” Gunther said. “This is not something — he’s not just running away. He just really doesn’t have good control.”
Early Friday afternoon, Gunther Nuissl told KOIN 6 News his son was found safe and is back home.
“He has a brain injury. He had brain surgery last year…to keep him from having seizures. He has a condition known as dis-inhibition,” Gunther said.” He does have a tendency to wander. He has a tendency to get himself in trouble as a result.”
Gunther found his son’s bike at a bus stop in Hood River, but witnesses say he never got on the bus. He was spotted at a gas station trying to hitchhike.
Benjamin has also been spotted in downtown Hood River near the Salmo Street Springs and the Gateway Shopping Plaza, according to his father.
“My fear is with his lack of inhibition is that he’ll get himself into trouble and get himself involved with people he shouldn’t be involved with,” Gunther said. “We don’t need to be worrying about him like this.”
While this isn’t the first time Benjamin’s run away, it’s the longest he’s been gone.
“We would love to have him home,” Gunther said. “This is a problem he’ll have for the rest of his life, this is something we’ve struggled with everyday.”
The family is hopeful they’ll find Benjamin soon or that he’ll return home on his own.