Missing 9-Year-Old Boy Found On An Island 5,500 Miles From Home
Billy Hanson, a 9-year-old from Pennsylvania, was reported missing in September when he didn’t return from his father’s home in Seattle.
Jeffrey Hanson, 46, and Joanna Hanson are divorced, but the boy’s father obtained monthly visitation rights.
A friend of the father’s told the FBI Hanson would regularly beat his son when he visited him during the summer to “toughen” Billy up.
USA Today reports the US Attorney’s Office lists the father as a “known drug abuser.”
Jeffrey Hanson is an avid sailor, so authorities tracked his 38-foot sailboat when the boy’s mother reported him missing.
International efforts found the father and son on the tiny island of Niue, 5,500 miles away from Seattle.
The island counts just 15 people as police officers, but they arrested Hanson when someone recognized him from a wanted poster.
The elder Hanson was brought back to the US on Sunday and charged with international parental kidnapping.
Billy stayed on the island for as long as authorities took to arrange a trip back to Pennsylvania.
Locals even said the boy appeared to be having fun.
According to USA Today, the editor of a local newspaper said,
I saw him at a barbecue on Friday and he did not look stressed. He had a Niue t-shirt on and was enjoying himself.
The exact date of Billy’s return home was not disclosed.