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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, June 20, 2003

Boy found at bus terminal after 8-hour search

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Bill Stone, left, of the Windward YMCA where Curstin "Nahe" Simmons-Sabey disappeared in the afternoon, gets a search update from investigator Phil Camero.

Rebecca Breyer • The Honolulu Advertiser

After nearly eight hours of searching, a 13-year-old boy was found late last night at the Middle Street bus terminal in Kalihi, miles from where he disappeared in Kailua.

Curstin "Nahe" Simmons-Sabey was tired and hungry, but safe.

"We're relieved and we're really happy with how the police and fire handled it," said Charmae Kwan, the boy's aunt. "The community really helped us. Friends from his brother's Pop Warner football team just showed up and started handing out fliers and helping us look."

Nahe had been the subject of an islandwide search that involved more than 50 police officers and fire rescue workers, as well as dozens of volunteers. Investigator Phil Camero of the Police Department's missing persons detail said there was no evidence that Nahe had been abducted, but there was concern because he has Down syndrome.

Nahe disappeared at about 2 p.m. yesterday at the Windward YMCA in Kailua, where he had just finished swimming lessons. He went into a restroom to change, but 45 minutes later was nowhere to be found.

Witnesses told police they spotted Nahe at a gas station across the YMCA. He also was seen in the Kailua Longs Drugs store where his mother works, and later on a city bus.

At about 7:45 last night, Nahe was seen getting off a bus in the Ala Moana area. Camero said officers and volunteers scoured the area in response to that report.

Kwan, who was part of that search party, said: "We were feeling rather desperate because it was so dark and he's never been away from us. And I knew he was hungry and we were trying to find places where he would go, and just going to different places and getting no information was making me anxious. It made me think of the worst-case scenarios that we see on TV where kids are missing and you never find them."

But shortly after 10 p.m., Nahe was found at the O'ahu Transit Services terminal on Middle Street. Kwan said she believes that Nahe may have spent a good portion of the day riding the bus because he was spotted along bus routes.

"He just recently starting riding the little yellow bus to summer school and he really liked that. I remember him telling everybody that he wanted to ride the bus and I think he ventured off and tried it on his own," Kwan said.

Kwan, who was given the task to pick up Nahe at the bus station, said she was anxious to see him.

"I'm going to hug him," she said. "And then I'm going to scold him after that and say, 'You can't do that anymore.' "