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Missing Tacoma boys found safe in North End

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Aug. 17, 2012 at 9:28 am with 21 Comments »
August 17, 2012 10:03 am
Jeffery A. Zupan
Zabian T. Welcome

The two boys were huddled beneath two blankets, sleeping in a parking strip.

Bob Casey saw them about 8:40 a.m. when he stepped out of his house in the 1200 block of North Tacoma Avenue.

“I knew immediately what it was because I had just read the paper,” he said.

Casey called police to tell them where to find Zabian Welcome, 9, and Jeffrey Zupan, 11. Then he approached the runaways, who left Zabian’s home Wednesday night after a confrontation with a caregiver.

He said the boys were clad only in shorts and shoes. One had severe blisters on his feet. They were also covered with blue marker, like they’d engaged in “marker wars” while on the run.

Zabian appeared to be sleepy and just wanted to lay down, Casey said, but Jeffrey seemed antsy, like he might bolt.

Casey offered to bring them bowls of cereal if they would sit on his house steps, but they declined.

The boys were taken to the Tacoma police station, where they will be interviewed by detectives.

Leave a comment Comments → 21
  1. I’m glad they are safe. Sounds like they had an adventure.

  2. Finally a good ending!

  3. Ortingmom says:

    Yay !

  4. mcgintey says:

    These boys may need some counselling, having run away before. Could be on the road to trouble, if they don’t like supervision.

  5. cclngthr says:

    I agree. Something is going on in their lives at home. If they are runaways, looking into WHY they are running away is the first thing to investigate.

  6. Good call cc. I’m hoping the cops read your comment, or they’ll never think to interview the kids or their caregiver.

  7. Regfool2 says:

    oz — yeah, nor would the police think to notify professionals to investigate, or take the kids to the hospital to get checked out and treated. Why do folks like ccingthr assume the cops are 8 shades of stupid? This ain’t their first rodeo, folks!

  8. Rowdy_Rob says:

    Regfool – I’m sure it’s not the cops bungling this case we’re worried about but rather the state and/or whoever’s in charge of this caregiver…

  9. i’d just hung up from the robocall when my doorbell rang and there were two of Tacoma’s finest with pictures of the two boys. Great system.

  10. LAdams48 says:

    I am so glad these two boys have been found! They couldn’t have been trying to hard to hide, if they were found in a parking strip area. :-)

    As to the negative comments about Tacoma police… sounds to me like they did an excellent job of notifying the surrounding area about these two kids! ***Thank You Tacoma police*** for getting word out so quickly!!!! :-)

  11. PopTacoma says:

    I am glad they are ok. Young boys do stupid things. I remember telling my mom I was going to run away and join circus once. I ended up hiding in the garage for a few hours until hunger and fear made me return “home.” I think the boys will be fine and the caregiver was likely scared to death. I am sure the police will do a good job of investigating the whole caper.

  12. ptproudnative says:

    im happy they were found safe

  13. PositiveNews says:

    I am interested to know WHY they were gone for 24 hours plus before the robocall and anyone starts looking for them? They are NINE and ELEVEN! Not even teenagers or young adults! Terrible. And if my son’s “caregiver” didn’t know where he was at any time of their care giving duties there would be HUGE trouble.

  14. photinia says:

    Lots of kids have an “episode” like this at about this age..I know I sure did….very glad that this ended well…sounds like they might have been egging each other on..I wouldnt make TOO much of this if I were their parents ..unless its an escalation of a dangerous pattern.

  15. pjennifer says:

    It is good news to know that these kids were found.
    The biggest care to strangers is when you hear that a
    child is missing. They all look out for one another.

  16. lonergan says:

    Good job, Bob Casey!

  17. Regfool2 says:

    Rowdy-That was said tongue in cheek. Actually, they’d probably BE better off if the cops COULD handle the whole thing! You’re spot on!

  18. prairiegirl says:


  19. MelissaD322 says:

    I’m thankful for a happy ending here.

  20. pattyplumley says:

    Happy ending yea! For all you armchair, wanna-be child psychologists…let the pro’s do their job and quit assuming you know it all. You really don’t ;)…just an fyi lol.

  21. Damn this really sucks for me because Jeff is or ha was my friend and he sadly went down a even worse path but nows he’s somewhere safe and for zabien I still have to meat him.

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