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'Runaway' Hillsboro teens intercepted on TriMet bus


A dramatic end to the story of two missing Hillsboro teens came Tuesday evening when the father of one of the boys intercepted a TriMet bus they’d boarded in Portland and brought the pair home. by: COURTESY IMAGE - Joseph Apodaca, 15 (left), and Drew Miller, 14, both Hillsboro High School students, left campus last Friday afternoon and havent been seen since. They reportedly were heading to Portland to attend a concert.

An anonymous tip from a volunteer at a downtown mission led to the teens’ discovery about 10 blocks from where family members and friends were distributing flyers in hopes of finding out where they had gone.

“I’m tired, but better — I hadn’t slept in three days,” Dallas Martin, father of Drew Martin, said Wednesday morning. “His whole family is extremely happy he’s home.”

Dallas Martin said more than 1,000 people in multiple states had been watching for clues to the teenagers’ whereabouts.

“There’s a huge network out there, including on social media,” he noted.

Drew, 14, a Hillsboro High School freshman, and Joseph Apodaca, 15, a sophomore, had been out of contact with family and school officials since Feb. 21, when they reportedly hopped on a MAX train in Washington County and headed for Portland to attend a concert.

The Hillsboro Police Department sent resource officers to Hilhi Monday and Tuesday to interview students who might have had information about the boys. Noting that Apodaca was a “chronic runaway,” HPD spokesman Lt. Mike Rouches said Tuesday his intuition was that the boys had “cooked up a plan to take off.”

His agency doesn’t send out search parties in such situations “because we don’t know where to start,” Rouches said. “We can’t search the world.” Most runaways return home within 48 hours, he pointed out.

Drew Martin’s mother, Portland resident Erica Spencer, said Tuesday it was “very out of character” for her son not to come home or contact his family.

Dallas Martin lives in Cornelius. Joseph’s mother, April Beals, lives in Hillsboro. Both teens were back with their families by 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

“The gal at the mission saw our children and she was able to describe exactly what they were wearing,” Dallas Martin said. “She said they were looking to get on a bus to Gresham, and I was only blocks away, so I went right over there.”

Martin got on the bus and “asked the driver not to move,” he said, then called 911. Portland Police arrived within minutes and helped negotiate a peaceful transfer.

“Drew was cooperative and so was Joseph,” said a relieved Martin. “I think they were really shocked to see me. We made sure they were 100 percent OK and that neither of them needed to go to the hospital.”

He reported his son was “sleeping like a log” in his own bed Wednesday morning.

Hillsboro High School Principal Arturo Lomeli said Tuesday he had been communicating with parents and students to quell rumors and to make sure the Hilhi community was in the loop with the latest news.

Dallas Martin said he and his son would take time to talk things over Wednesday and that he would not be back in class right away.

“We’ve got a long road ahead — there are lots of wounds to be healed,” Martin said. “If we have to get help sorting things out, we will.”