NASHUA — A 13-year-old boy is still missing after he packed a bag and left home Wednesday afternoon after being bullied at school for several weeks, according to the child's mother.
Alex White, an eighth-grader at Elm Street Middle School, may have run away, but his mother is pleading for the child to come home quickly.
"None of his friends have heard from him. I was hoping that he was hiding out at a friend's house, but now I have doubts," Kay White said Thursday morning after her son had been missing for about 20 hours.
Authorities have released no official comment about the missing teen, but White said police were at Elm Street Middle School Thursday morning questioning about a dozen students at the school.
"He is 13 years old and I don't know where he slept last night," said the mother, who is distraught about the last interaction she had with Alex, whose full name is Alexander.
According to White, Alex has been bullied at school for the past few weeks. The bullying must have reached a tipping point Wednesday when Alex felt the need to use his cellphone at school to call and threaten one of the kids, according to White.
"He got into trouble at school for using his phone, so I took it from him after school. The punishment fit the crime, so at the time it seemed like the right thing to do. But now he has no phone to reach anyone," she explained.
After school, Alex sent a Facebook message to a friend, grabbed a backpack filled with clothes and walked out the back door of their home in Nashua near Holman Stadium, according to White. He may have about $20 with him, she said.
Some people have reported seeing Alex wandering around the Charlotte Avenue Elementary School Wednesday afternoon, and another parent believes he spotted Alex around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday near Greeley Park.
"He is on a skateboard," said White, who is hoping someone may have seen the boy Thursday.
Throughout the night, she said police were stopping pedestrians downtown and showing them photographs of Alex.
"They consider him a runaway, or an endangered youth," she said. "But he is a missing teen — my missing son, and I want him home. I want him to know that he isn't in trouble and that we love him."
Alex is about 5-foot-9 with brown hair and brown eyes. White said he looks older than 13 and left home wearing jeans, a white T-shirt and red sweatshirt. He has a clear skateboard with him as well, she said.
Alex is a football player for the PAL Force football team, where his mom serves on the board of directors. The football organization is using various social media sites to get the word out about Alex, hoping someone might know his whereabouts, she said.
"I believe the bullying has played a role in this. He has had a rough year," said White. "His father and I divorced a little while ago, and Alex has been bullied since the first day of school. He comes home aggravated and he comes home frustrated."
Although he is big for his size, White said her son is a kind-hearted child who doesn't have an angry bone in his body.
A local emergency alert company, Ping4 Inc., released a missing child alert for Alex Thursday morning.
Sgt. Joe Molinari of the Nashua Police Department said because this involves a minor, he could neither confirm nor deny the report of a missing child. Deputy Police Chief Andrew Lavoie echoed those comments.
"I am not mitigating this whatsoever," Lavoie said of Alex's case. However, because of the sensitive nature of missing juvenile cases, Lavoie said he would only comment in general terms about teens reported missing.
Once a child is reported to police as a runaway, local police will include the child's name in the nationwide runaway/missing person database, said Lavoie. Then, the child's photograph is distributed to city police officers and included in the department's "hot sheet," he said.
The hot sheet is continuously updated and distributed frequently during shift changes at the station, and officers take those photographs with them while they are on duty.
Anyone with information about Alex's whereabouts is urged to contact White directly at 820-3547.