As all teenagers do, fifteen-year-old Aubrey Carroll longed for freedom, but at what price would this freedom be granted? On that fateful night in 2016, Aubrey’s dad went to pick him up and discovered something that turned his blood cold.
When Aubrey’s father dropped his son off for school that morning, that would be the last time he was seen. The search to discover what happened to him was underway.
Aubrey’s parents, Michael and Danielle, had divorced in his mid-teens and had moved to separate towns. This was less than ideal for the social butterfly that was Aubrey. He had tons of friends and would have been described as popular.
Therefore, his parents decided to keep him in his old school despite it now being an hour’s drive away. Little did they realize, this would be a decision that would haunt them.
Aubrey’s father, who he lived with, drove him an hour every day just to catch the bus to his school. It was very apparent that Aubrey was very loved and cared for by his parents.
However, the school was very far from his home so this naturally cut out a lot of the social time Aubrey would have had before, which he detested. He was such a sociable soul and this pained him. This social spirit would turn out to be the very thing that caused him to vanish.
Gone Without A Trace
When Aubrey’s dad went to pick him up he was used to waiting a little while. Aubrey was popular and always had loads of friends, male and female. Michael understood that having some time to socialize with peers was important to Aubrey.
The clock ticked on and suddenly two hours had gone by and there was still no sign of Aubrey. All the schoolkids had gone home. Michael’s stomach dropped. This is when he realized his worst fears had become a reality.
A Parent’s Worst Nightmare
Michael now had to decipher where his son had gone. Was he still in school? Had he met a girl? Had he been abducted? A million questions swirled around in his head and his anxiety reached near panic levels.
Holding his panic together long enough to type the digits to his school’s phone number with clammy hands, he called up Spalding High School and asked them to confirm Aubrey’s attendance that day. Aubrey had been in that day and had sat for exams. It was confirmed. Something had lured Aubrey away that day. Now the only question was, what was it?
The Police Get Involved
Michael’s next course of action was to call the police and report his son as missing. He was terrified and on top of this guilt and anxiety, he also still hadn’t told Aubrey’s mother, Danielle, what had happened. Michael tried to think logically and didn’t want to jump the gun by telling her — in case it was just a classic case of a teenager running away and coming back the next day.
As he and Danielle were divorced, he didn’t want to look like an incompetent father and lose custody of Aubrey. Still, the clock was ticking and there was still no call from the Police about Aubrey’s whereabouts. As the days turned to a week, Micahel was left with no choice.
Aubrey’s mother hadn’t heard from her son in a week. The two were normally so close so when she didn’t hear from him for that long, she decided to call up Michael. He knew he had to come clean.
When Danielle discovered Aubrey was a missing person and she hadn’t been informed, she was simultaneously furious, panicked, and terrified. How could Michael have kept this from her? She knew she made the right decision divorcing him but that wouldn’t bring Aubrey back. She decided to take matters into her own hands.
A Tearful Appeal To The Public
Danielle and Michael were utterly heartbroken. The parents decided the best thing to do was to make a public appeal for Aubrey. On live television, the couple poured their hearts out and told the world how much they missed their son and how they just wanted him back.
The ex-couple was hopeful that their appeal would be enough. However, they never could have imagined that the forces behind Aubrey’s disappearance did not care in the slightest about what his parents thought.
A $5,000 Reward
In a last bid attempt to appeal to anyone who may have had information on Aubrey, Michael and Danielle put out a $5,000 reward for information about Aubrey’s whereabouts. There was a candlelit vigil held for him in his school and almost every student attended, a testament to his charisma and popularity.
Despite their efforts, Aubrey’s birthday came and went and still no sign of their boy. It wasn’t until nearly two years later and a Facebook message from a strange man that they got a lead on Aubrey’s location.
Aubrey’s New Friend
A man who went by the name ‘Shaggy Smokes-a-lot’ on Facebook reached out to Danielle, who had never given up hope that her son was alive. After seeing Aubrey’s mom’s relentless public campaigning for her son’s whereabouts online had inspired Shaggy to reach out to her. It turned out Shaggy had some crucial information on Aubrey’s whereabouts.
He picked up his phone and typed out a text. “Yo, Mrs. C! I hear you’re looking for Aubrey, I just wanted to let you know that he is one crazy cat! Also, that dude is totally alive, he and I shared a tent for a few months (along with some other things I won’t mention to his mom, haha). I will tell him you’re looking for him, that dude has been on another planet yo! Peace”. Danielle and Michael finally tracked down their son. Now the only question was what had happened to him.
The Return Of Aubrey
Nearly two years after disappearing, Aubrey was finally discovered. His hair was long, his beard was scraggly and he smelled like he hadn’t showered since he was last home. But Michael and Danielle didn’t care.
Their rogue son had finally come home to them and they were completely overjoyed. Understandably, after the joy had worn out, they had a lot of questions. Angry questions. What had been the cause of Aubrey putting his parents through a living hell for almost two years?
Far Out, Dude
Turns out, after school that day, by chance Aubrey had met Shaggy and his crew of traveling hippies, vagabonds, and eccentrics and was instantly spellbound by them. He decided that he wanted to live as they did and figured his parents would be “cool” with it.
Based on disappearing without a trace at the age of fifteen and whatever happened between him and Shaggy in that tent, it’s probably fair to say that they very much weren’t cool with it, Aubrey.