Bend teen, runaway in ’02, found in Bay Area

By Barney Lerten
Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2005 2:58 PM
Reference Code: AR-20825

Mother ‘very glad’ to hear son, now 17, is Ok.

January 27 – A teen-ager who ran away from a northeast Bend home about 2
1/2 years ago, at age 14, and was listed on a national missing-children
site as an “endangered runaway” has been found in San Francisco, in good
condition, police said Thursday.

“It’s a good thing when you find them, after 2 1/2 years, and they are
alive,” Sgt. John Gautney said after authorities learned Tuesday that
Matthew Jay Ware, now 17, was in California.

Ware’s mother “was very glad to hear that he had been found,” Gautney
said. “All indications were that he had been fine.”

On July 24, 2002, Ware, then 14, was reported as a runaway from the
northeast area of Bend, and his family had no contact with him since
then, Gautney said.

Ware’s name, photo and information was entered into the National Center
for Missing and Exploited Children’s Website (
< (Link:> ) as an
“endangered runaway,” and several sightings were reported throughout the
Northwest since then, Gautney said. But none led to finding the teen.

Bend police detectives were assigned to the case and continued to follow
up on leads as they became available, the sergeant added.Gautney
It’s a good thing when you find them, after 2 1/2 years, and they are

Sgt. John Gautney, Bend Police Dept.    said that Ware “was picked up by
San Francisco police,” who sent a message to authorities in Bend, who in
turn contacted Ware’s mother, who lives in the Portland area.

The teen’s parents didn’t live in Bend at the time of his disappearance.
“He was living here, with someone else from Bend,” Gautney said, adding
that the 14-year-old had been picked up at Drake Park as a runaway, the
day before he disappeared. “He was waiting to be taken back to Portland”
at the time he was last seen, the sergeant added.

Gautney said the teen’s mother, Shanti Ware, was making plans to return
Matthew to the Portland area, and may be flying down to meet him.

Not much is known about the teen’s whereabouts, and Gautney said he’s not
certain how police found him.

“We contact the parents, and the parents handle it from there,” he said.
“We don’t have a crime, but a missing runaway.”

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