Published August 26, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. – An Arizona teenager assumed to be missing in the woods of Southern Oregon talked with his parents about the book "Into the Wild" and told a friend he wanted to run away.
The Douglas County sheriff's office searched Monday for 18-year-old Johnathan Croom. His SUV was found Wednesday in the town of Riddle.
His mother says he was on his way back from Seattle. Croom was due in Arizona Aug. 17 to start college in Mesa.
Douglas County sheriff's spokesman Dwes Hutson says text messages between Croom and a friend indicated Croom wanted to run away.
Hutson says Croom talked to his parents about Christopher McCandless, whose disappearance in the Alaska wilderness was documented in the book "Into the Wild."
Earlier this year, 19-year-old Dustin Self of Oklahoma disappeared after talking to his parents about the same book and setting out to test himself against the southeast Oregon wilderness. His truck was found on a mountain in April.