Area teen found safe in Champaign

Area teen found safe in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign teenager who had been missing overnight Wednesday was returned home by noon the next day.

Michael Henneman, 16, was listed Wednesday as a missing and endangered runaway, according to a Champaign police bulletin.

The teen was reported missing after leaving his home Tuesday and was last seen about 9 p.m. Tuesday, the bulletin said. It was reported that he left his car and cell phone in the area of Galen Drive and Windsor Road.

Police found Henneman in the area of Duncan and Windsor roads at 11:23 a.m. Thursday. He was unharmed and returned home to his family, police said.

"All's well with the young man," Champaign police Sgt. Jim Rein said. "He's back home. He looks good."

Rein said the teen's parents were very happy at his return.

"Now, they are just going to work to resolve whatever caused this," Rein said.

The sergeant said Thursday morning that authorities believed Henneman was still in the area, but they were concerned because of his age and lack of means of support.

"It was very uncharacteristic for him," Rein said of the teen's disappearance.

Rein said reports of runaways are common and most are resolved quickly and happily.

"We get runaway reports in our department every single day," Rein said. "Typically, most of them rarely go past 24 hours. By the time we get the report, they are usually back home."

Police usually talk to the friends of a young person believed to be missing or runaway, Rein said. If the absence gets longer and more serious, there are other ways to broaden the search, including the use of an "AMBER Alert."

An AMBER Alert is a notification to the general public, by various media outlets in Canada and in the United States, when police confirm that a child has been abducted. AMBER is an acronym for America's Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response, and was named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas, in 1996.

AMBER Alerts are carried, depending on local networks, on radio, television, emergency alert systems, e-mail, electronic road construction or traffic condition warning signs or other means.

According to the official AMBER Alert Web site – www.amberalert.gov – the system has saved the lives of more than 200 children in the past five years.

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