Three missing Cullman teens found safe at area church

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CULLMAN, Ala.(WIAT) – Three teenagers gave their families the scare of their lives overnight after disappearing without so much as a trace.

Luckily, they were found unharmed.

The initial call kept Cullman County sheriff’s deputies busy Monday night into Tuesday morning. Two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old had gone missing.

All three were found just after 8 a.m. at a church in the area. According to authorities, the teenagers decided to run away.

For Allen Owen, reuniting with his son was joyous, but he was puzzled as to why Zack and his friends had put them through the toughest 13 hours of their life.

“I don’t understand what possessed him to do this, I really don’t,” Owen said. “We’ve been having little nicks and knacks at home like normal parents and everything, but I guess he doesn’t think he’s loved or something. I don’t know.”

A situation such as the one that took place in Cullman is a parent’s worst nightmare. Owen says this event is a prime example that no matter how much you nurture your children, you can never know what could possibly be troubling their minds.

UAB psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow says it’s important to note that as a child ages, so should the tone of parenting and communication.

“If you ask your teen a question, if you give them a chance to talk and think, you’d be surprised at what they may say,” Dr. Klapow said. “They may not say today, they may say it tomorrow, they may say it next week.”

Dr. Klapow says now is the perfect time to have a talk with children and discuss things like self-image and peer pressure now that school is back in session.

As for Owen, he says he plans to spend the remainder of Tuesday trying to make sense of what happened, hoping that it will never happen again.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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