A 15-year-old boy returned to his classroom Thursday to the cheers of his terrified classmates and stunned teachers and parents, whose mixed emotions showed just how terrifying an ordeal he had endured.
“He came back like a little kid. No self-pity and a lot of smiles, just really happy to be back,” Principal Richard Murphy told a phalanx of television cameras and reporters outside Ben Lomond High School.
The teen, who is not being identified due to his age, never expressed animosity toward his captors or questions about why they had abducted him, Murphy said. His day of reunion began on Wednesday night, with pizza at a nearby pizza parlor before relatives and friends welcomed him home. The elder of the two boys with whom he has been living each took charge of the luncheon, returning the boy to his classroom in a gleaming new car with bulletproof glass from the back.
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The harrowing ordeal has riveted parts of the country for more than a week.
In unbroken video shot the night he was freed by police, the teen pleaded with his kidnappers to return him. “I’m in love with you. I’m scared of you. Please give me back to my family,” he said at the height of his captivity.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.