Father fears 'Into the Wild' inspired son's disappearance

Father fears 'Into the Wild' inspired son's disappearance

Johnathan Croom has been missing for a week. (Douglas County Sheriff's Office / ABC News)

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by ABC News

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM

(ABC News) --  A concerned father is scouring the Oregon wilderness for his 18-year-old son after the teen mysteriously vanished on a road trip home to Arizona from Washington state.

Johnathan Croom was driving back to Arizona after visiting a friend in Seattle on Aug. 16. It is believed no one has heard from the teen since Aug. 18, according to a Douglas County, Ore., Sheriff's Office news release.

Croom's father, David Croom, told ABC's "Good Morning America" he sent his friend a text message on his way home that revealed he wanted to go "on an adventure."

"She says, 'I hope you enjoy your adventure. Hello? Johnathan? Are you there?'" David Croom told ABC's "Good Morning America." "That's the last time."

Croom said he fears his son may have been inspired by the 2007 film "Into the Wild." The movie was inspired by the real-life events of Christopher McCandless, a young hiker who sought isolation in the Alaskan wilderness.

"We're talking about a kid who has been almost obsessed with this particular movie," he said. "My concern is that he's out there with very limited resources and not a lot of experience."

Authorities found Johnathan Croom's 2000 green Honda CR-V abandoned in Riddle, Ore., on Wednesday. The teen's wallet, photo ID, $200 cash and a book on outdoor survival tactics were left inside, leading police to believe he may not want to be found.

'Just as in that movie, he left everything behind and took off,' David Croom said. 'We just don't know what he left with.'

Croom was due back last weekend before his classes began at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., on Aug. 19, The Associated Press reported.

Since local authorities are not equipped to go deep into the wilderness, David Croom is hoping they'll allow private rescue groups to help him with his search. Until then, Croom's father said he'll stop at nothing until he finds his son.

"I've never felt a fear like this," David Croom said. "It's unexplainable."

Johnathan Croom is described as 6'1" and 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on Croom is asked to contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
 

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