By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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In a phone call later that day, he told his father, Jonathon Chrysler Sr., he got into a car with a pair of strangers he met through a website called “The Runaway Guide,” and they drove him into Idaho and Montana.
“He told me they were ex-gang members, and they have weapons,” Jonathon Sr. said Monday morning.
Sgt. Dave Campbell of the Sequim Police Department, though, said the department's investigation raised questions about the validity of Jonathon Jr.'s story.
“As far as we can tell, the child is not in any current danger,” Sgt. Campbell said.
The junior Chrysler told his parents he could not live with their rules, his father said, so he enlisted the help of the adult strangers through the website, having a friend from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, pay them for their services.
Campbell said the website was probably “not pertinent” to Jonathon Jr.'s disappearance, saying it appears to be “another curve ball being thrown to the dad by a kid who doesn't want to go home.”
To be safe, Campbell said the department has contacted all of the jurisdictions Jonathon Jr. said he had been to, asking them to keep an eye out for the teen.
Jonathon Sr. had not talked to his son since Friday night, when the runaway said over the phone he and his escorts were driving west from Spokane.
The father also said he spoke with the driver, who said he was an adult male. Jonathon Sr. said the man's voice sounded like a teenager's.
Campbell said the “almost-constant contact” between Jonathon Jr. and his friends and family lead the department to believe the teen is safe.
Local law enforcement was alerted Saturday morning to keep an eye out for the black four-door Nissan that reportedly was driving Jonathon Jr. to Port Angeles. They did not find the car.
An acquaintance reported giving Jonathon Jr. a cigarette at Sequim's “Half Block” near the Sequim Transit Center, his father said.
“Maybe he's right here in town,” Jonathon Sr. said. “I don't know.”
Said Campbell: “He could be in central Washington, or he could be right here in Sequim.”
The Runaway Guide, www.runawayguide.com, is written by a young man named Leif who said he ran away from home when he was 16. It includes stories on traveling the world cheaply, including tales of hopping borders without proper documentation.
After the Chryslers' story was reported by the Seattle FOX television affiliate, KCPQ, Leif wrote that his site “is not a place where 'kids meet adults,” but is intended as a travel guide for backpackers.
Jonathon Jr.'s family has created a Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/bjgg42n asking for help in finding him as well as seeking support to have the Facebook page for “The Runaway Guide” shut down.
Anyone with information call contact the Sequim Police Department at 360-683-7227.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.