A 13-year-old boy has run away from home and is believed to have set up camp inside the woods in a possible attempt to live “off the grid”.
James Yoblonski drove away from his home in the family van and may have taken his father’s firearm and two survival guidebooks, police have said.
His father William has now announced he plans to mortgage his Wisconsin house to offer a £7,000 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the boy being found.
Yoblonski said: “The £7,000 reward is only if he’s found. In the last three weeks, we haven’t gotten any tips or anything.”
He insisted that James is a “smart kid” but called his decision to run away was unexpected.
Yoblonski said: “This is uncalled for, to do something like this and not talk to anybody about it.”
Detectives said they believe James left home to embark on a survival mission and reported finding evidence of a makeshift campsite inside a state park.
The police tracked the teen’s phone near US Highway 12 at Sauk Hill, Wisconsin where they recovered the abandoned van on the side of the road.
Several items believed to belong to James have been recovered at Devil’s Lake State Park, where his alleged campsite was located.
The area is equipped with hundreds of campsites as well as showers, bathrooms and drinking water taps.
Family and volunteers have joined the search for James at the State Park, with aunt Mary Wagner saying earlier this month their minds were now jumping from “one scenario to another.
She said: “Especially after this many days, you know, he could be anywhere, he could be hurt, you know, anything so your mind just kind of jumps from one scenario to another.
“I just hope we find some evidence or some closure to this whole thing.”
William Yablonski has urged the boy to come home, as he admitted he fears someone could have picked him up after searches in the area yielded no result.
He told WiscNews: “As much as they searched, they should have found some evidence of him being in there, and they found nothing
“Come out from wherever you’re hiding. We want you home. We love you very much.”
James is described as a white male with brown hair and blue eyes weighing 120 pounds. He’s 5ft 11in tall and has a distinctive scar at the back of his neck.
He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans with red shoes.
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