Staff ReportVERO BEACH — The Vero Beach teenager who has been missing since Aug. 9 is being held Thursday at the St. Lucie County Juvenile Detention Center after authorities found him trying to hitchhike along Florida’s Turnpike.
Eric Self, 18, was found by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who stopped him as he walked along the turnpike. The teen identified himself to the trooper, who then ran a check and found that not only was he missing, but also that he was wanted on a warrant in St. Lucie County, according to authorities. How Self made it to St. Lucie County is still unclear.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Self was trying to get to Orlando to visit a friend.
On what charge or charges the warrant was issued was not immediately known.
Self’s parents reported him as missing and authorities upgraded the seriousness to “endangered” after finding suicide notes in his room, authorities said. After leaving his home in Vero Beach, Self apparently changed his mind about committing suicide and went to see a friend in Stuart.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies spent the last 11 days searching for Self and running down numerous tips and false-sightings.