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'Thank you is not enough' | Missing Austin High teen returns home safely

The 16-year-old was reported as a runaway on Dec. 8.

AUSTIN, Texas — A missing Austin High School student has returned safely, according to Austin ISD.

The 16-year-old was reported as a runaway by his family on Dec. 8, and he was reportedly last seen on Dec. 6. The district confirmed his safe return on Dec. 14.

The teen's father also posted on Facebook Tuesday announcing his safe return. His full statement can be read below:

It is with a grateful and humble heart that I let you all know that Jaiden is safely home.

There is not one thought, wish, action or prayer from everyone involved that wasn’t needed and coveted to make this come to a fortunate ending.

I have never been a media or public person, but in this case appreciate every effort and ounce of love and concern that has been poured out for me and my family as we navigated the most terrifying storm of my life. Agonizing and bleeding publicly isn’t pretty and it took the whole community of my awesome family, Life Austin Church, Midland Northside Baptist, First United Methodist Paint Rock, many close friends, Josh and Jen-you got to me first on flyers and went on hunts, made sure I was fed. We thank the media, public committees, AISD Officer Auck and APD Detectives Meyers and O’Donnell working jointly to bring this together. Strangers combing the streets, old and now many new friends, you will forever be held close in my thoughts. Thank you for every text, every call. I make a pledge if ever you need anything from me, I will be there.

RELATED: Groups meet Sunday afternoon to search for missing Austin High student

For Coach Bernard Riley Austin High Head Football Coach and your wife, Jennifer, Jaiden and I are ever in your debt for believing in us, that we were worth the efforts you made. Your wisdom as parents as well as a coach led us through dark days and thoughts with creative approaches to this ordeal. Thank you is not enough.

Austin High School principal, Dr. Bedford, thank you for allowing all out efforts to bring Jaiden home.

For all you parents and kids that cared enough to see a student found and safe, there are no words to say that who knows which thing led to the phone call that made the difference? It truly was the most unselfish display of human compassion I have ever experienced.

Our children don’t realize the dark side that is out there lurking, or even the sick people that take advantage of these situations and cause us so many moments of despair.

It is with that thought that above all thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for holding us all in the Palm of his hands. He is never early and never late and forever faithful. I forever praise Him.

And lastly my mom...who is a Warrior, and her band of sisters, Janee’, Regina, Jimaileen, Deborah, who bombard the heavens with their prayers with ferocity, faith and strength. The same faith our family on all sides...cousins, sister-in-laws brought to our aide. Thank you. We are truly blessed.

Members of the Austin High community rallied for a search party on Sunday to help locate the teen. Volunteers met at three locations to coordinate search efforts.


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