Runaway teen reunited with his mother

Zaire McLean, a 17-year-old from Thousand Oaks, was taken to the hospital to receive medical attention after he was found wandering the streets for several days.

McLean, a student at Westlake High School, ran away the morning of June 3. The boy’s mother, Christy McLean, created a Facebook page to help locate her son. A post on June 9 stated:

“(Zaire) was spotted by a local teenager, Angel Lopez, confused and wondering. Angel and his mother were kind enough to not only call Christy, but they kept eyes on him until she arrived. Zaire is in the hospital getting the proper medical care he needs. We are overjoyed!!! We thank you all for your support, kind words, prayers, sharing the flyer, and searching with us!”

In the weeks leading up to his disappearance, McLean’s mother had grown concerned over his well-being and had him evaluated by mental health professionals. She said her son’s mental state is what led him to run away.

His mother put up flyers throughout the city asking anyone who saw him to call her and the police. Sheriff’s deputies encountered the young man on June 4 and attempted to catch him, but he escaped. McLean was not deemed at risk by the department, but rather a runaway juvenile.

McLean said this is not the first time her son has acted erratically.

“Maybe three weeks ago I came home from work and he was gone,” she said.

The boy came home the next morning.

Christy McLean said during the time her son was gone she received overwhelming support from the community. Many people called just to offer their support. —Ian Bradley