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Official: Boy who stowed away on jet leaves Hawaii

Teen Stows Away In Wheelwell Of Plane

HONOLULU (AP) - The 15-year-old boy who survived a 5½-hour flight from California to Hawaii in a jet's wheel well has left the state, an official said late Friday.

Kayla Rosenfeld, the spokeswoman for Hawaii's Department of Human Services, said that the youth is "no longer in Hawaii."

Her brief emailed statement did not specify how or when Yahya Abdi left, who he traveled with or where he went. A call to her office was not immediately answered early Saturday.

The boy's father, Abdilahi Yusuf, arrived in Hawaii this week from the family's home in Santa Clara, California, to bring him back.

Rosenfeld had said previously that the teen was in a Honolulu hospital after being transferred to state custody from the Maui airport, where he was questioned by FBI and airport officials following the April 20 flight.

Yahya Abdi withstood the flight from San Jose, California, to Maui after hopping an airport fence and climbing into the wheel well of a Boeing 767. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal that raised questions about airport security and revealed the personal family drama of a Somali immigrant struggling to adjust to life in the United States.

Abdi, who lives in Santa Clara with his father, stepmother and siblings, had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family.

His mother lives in a refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia. Ubah Mohammed Abdule told The Associated Press that the boy longed to see her, but couldn't because his father told him she was dead and didn't allow contact.

The boy's sister Najma Abdi said Monday that their birth mother was lying, and that the father didn't take the children away from her or mistreat them.

Yusuf says his son was "struggling adjusting to life" in America but that he is excited to bring him home to California.

A family spokesman didn't immediately return a call for comment early Saturday.

On Friday, the San Jose Mercury News reported that Mukhtar Guled, a cousin of the boy's stepmother, said it's not clear whether the father will be allowed to bring his son home.

"He could not see him. They won't let him see him or visit him or talk to him," Guled said.

A spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in San Francisco, which has been speaking with media for the boy's family, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Friday night.

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idoglady1 May 03 2014 at 3:51 PM

My first reaction was to paddle the dickens out of this kid. But, now, being a bit more enlightened... he was simply a homesick young man, meaning no harm. Not exactly imprisonment material.

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Mike May 03 2014 at 5:30 PM

There should be security walking the tarmacs, watching the planes, that noone sneaks onto them.

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2 replies
kcarthey Mike May 03 2014 at 6:00 PM

Many airports have runways extending into large bodies of water. Should we also have a wall of SEALS guarding those? And, Mike, please, it is "no one" not "noone" which looks like midday misspelled...and I'm terrible at spelling BTW

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neatair Mike May 03 2014 at 7:30 PM

they do, unlike you, not perfect

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sondravvag May 03 2014 at 5:39 PM

This is one very stupid and foolish boy. There should certainly be some consequence to him for what he did and a lesson to airport security as to how lax they are. This could become a disaster looming in the future if it is that easy to sneak onto a plane!! Not very reassuring for travelers!!

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tma2c May 03 2014 at 5:43 PM

I feel very sorry for this young man. I believe his luck, or Devine guidance is a sign and he should embrace this. First take a retrospect on the people he potentially harmed from his misguided act. make peace and thank that no one was hurt . second , understand his situation as a child which he is, respect others .use logic and seek help and comfort from someone . I have to believe there is someone that can offer this young man some support. I hope he finds peace and can stay away from the media blood suckers

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John Roberson May 03 2014 at 5:47 PM

of course we hope this was not a link to terrorism as I am sure that has been checked out

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1 reply
Mrs. Erickson John Roberson May 03 2014 at 8:13 PM

I totally agree with Mr. Roberson. I pray all will turn out for the best

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cincyburb01 May 03 2014 at 5:56 PM

How did this kid know that he would fit into the wheel-well of the plane? Did he read up about it? Was he close to a similar plane before and was able to see inside? I guess the best guess is he didn't know for sure. He took a chance on sneaking up to the plane and found that he was indeed able to get inside the wheel-well.

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1 reply
ran8879842 cincyburb01 May 03 2014 at 8:05 PM

The kid has a cousin , a family friend or may be a member of al queda working at the airport as (baggage handler ?/) who would show him which fence to climb over and which air plane to sneak in (How would the kid know which plane goes to Hawaii , how come he did not sneak in a small commuter plane ?).
For those who "defend" the kid :Remember 9 years old kids in Somalia carry AK 47 and teen agers carry machine guns. Go ahead cry for the poor kid, the next stow away may wear a belt (I mean a belt of explosive) , this might be only a "dry run" (dry stow away ).

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you want what??? May 03 2014 at 6:06 PM

I see such cold hearted coments. This child was taken from his home country and has been having a hard time adjusting to our ways of life. He has been seperated from his mother/misses her and all most of you can do is find wrong where is your compassion. Hopefuly he learned a lesson of at least to think before acting and may to talk to someone
I for one wish him ansd his family peace and luck

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2 replies
SPACCEJUMP you want what??? May 03 2014 at 8:57 PM

you want what??? Do you know how many so called, "child" had bombs wrapped around themselves and blew away innocent human beings in this world??? You should just be quiet and go sit with all of the libs attempting to destroy our country! GOD BLESS AMERICA!

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bootsnchaps60 you want what??? May 03 2014 at 9:09 PM

Unfortunately he will probably try again unless someone instills in him that what he did was wrong and that his death would have greatly harmed his mother. Please feel free to buy him a plane ticket so he can ride in the cabin but givng him a pass because he was "upset" is not appropriate.

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I LOVE YOU JENNY May 03 2014 at 6:07 PM

Thank God he's gone!!!!!!!!

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1 reply
hellyon3too I LOVE YOU JENNY May 03 2014 at 7:02 PM

I'm betting there are people who will say the same thing about you some day.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
wtp76 May 03 2014 at 6:30 PM

he needs help, not just for him, but for all of us,,,just think of the harm he could have caused......

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gilsnolan May 03 2014 at 6:47 PM

Does his flight qualify for frequent flyer miles?

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2 replies
Rita gilsnolan May 03 2014 at 7:29 PM


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Aissa2 gilsnolan May 03 2014 at 7:44 PM

Doubt it, don't you have to have paid for a flight to qualify for the subsequent frequent flyer miles?

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