Mother asks for help to find her son

The mother of a boy who ran away from the Lithia Springs Boys Home on March 9 is asking the community to help find him.

Christina Fecht would like her 16-year-old son, Jeffrey, to "please call home" and to return to the Walker Avenue facility, she said Tuesday.

She's concerned about his safety and health, because, as a cancer survivor, he requires regular check-ups.

Fecht believes it's likely Jeffrey is still in Ashland, or that he may have traveled to Klamath Falls, and is asking residents to help police locate him.

"I've cried for the last three days," she said Tuesday. "I love my son and I want him found safely."

Fecht believes Jeffrey, who goes by Jeff, may be hiding out with a teen he ran away with named Axel Dunn, 18. The teens fled the home at 12:15 a.m., after conspiring in a bathroom, Fecht said.

Jeffrey is 5 feet 6 inches tall and has black hair and brown eyes, Fecht said. He has scars over his right eyebrow, on his left elbow and on his right hip, she said.

He had a soft-tissue cancer in 2007 and is supposed to receive medical check-ups every six months, Fecht said. His next check-up is scheduled in August, she said.

"I'm supposed to take him there, but now I don't know where he is," she said.

Fecht, who lives in Crescent City, Calif., believes Jeffrey has been active on the social networking Web site MySpace in recent days, but she has been unable to contact him through the site, she said.

Jeffrey arrived at the home in January, after he was adjudicated for a burglary, Fecht and Oregon Youth Authority officials said. Dunn was adjudicated for being in possession of alcohol and theft in the third degree, said Jim Sellers, spokesman for the Oregon Youth Authority.

Fourteen boys have fled the 13-bed facility this year.

On Sunday, a 16-year-old girl ran away from the Lithia Springs Girls Home on Siskiyou Boulevard, marking the first runaway incident at that home this year. Authorities have yet to locate the girl, Sellers said.

On Thursday, two runaway boys were arrested after they stole a gun, hunting knives and a truck from two residences outside Ashland.

As a result of the incidents at the boys home, youth authority officials said they will not send any more boys there until they confer today and Thursday with Community Works, which runs the home.

All of the boys, age 13 to 18, have committed low-level crimes and have been given clearance from the youth authority to attend a non-lockdown treatment program.

Community Works President and CEO Dan Murphy declined to comment on the cases Tuesday. Other officials at Community Works could not be reached.

Before he ran away, Jeffrey told his mother that he didn't like living at the boys home, she said.

"I think that is why he ran away," she said. "He just said he hated it and that it's hard and that it's really stressful for him."

Sellers said youth authority officials will meet with Community Works officials to try to discern whether anything occurred at the home that could have caused the boys to flee.

"That is certainly something that OYA officials can explore with Dan Murphy and others at Community Works," he said. "I think also something that the youth authority is, and will be, exploring is, are we sending the appropriate youth to this facility?"

Anyone with information on the runaway teens is asked to contact the Ashland Police Department at 541-482-5211.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or

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