UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP report that Scott Di Vincenzo was found safe Wednesday night. Family and friends spent several days canvassing Nanaimo in search of the 13-year-old. Check back later today for further information.
It has been several days since Len and Solimar Di Vincenzo last saw their son.
Scott Di Vincenzo, 13, ran away from his home in Surrey with a female friend Saturday after he was grounded by his parents for getting into some minor trouble.
The teens boarded a ferry to Nanaimo, but were picked up by Mounties at the Departure Bay ferry terminal after they were tipped off to their whereabouts.
His friend’s parents came to Nanaimo Sunday to take them home, but at 6:30 p.m. when they stopped at Tim Hortons on Wallace Street en route to the ferry, Di Vincenzo jumped out of the car and has not been heard from since.
An extensive search by police turned up no clues.
His parents, sister, 19, and brother, 17, have scoured Nanaimo since Sunday. On Tuesday, more family and friends were on their way to help in the search.
This is the first time Di Vincenzo has run away, his mother said during a press conference at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment. Except for an hour or two when he has been out with friends, his parents have always know were he was.
“It’s very hard because we don’t know where he is, we don’t know what kind of danger he’s in,” his mother said. “Everybody’s worried about him. His friends are calling.”
Di Vincenzo has just the clothes on his back, a little cash and a bank card. His parents have deposited some money in his account so he can buy food.
Solimar Di Vincenzo describes her son as caring and smart, but said he sometimes has trouble getting along with people his age, and he does not take orders well and balks at authority, for which he is seeing a therapist. He joined the army cadets at the beginning of the school year at the suggestion of a friend and plays in the cadet band. Swimming is his favourite sport.
He has also learned some outdoor survival skills, which leads his parents to think he could be camped out somewhere, possibly in a park.
“He’s very caring, very friendly and has a lovely smile,” Solimar said.
But he is not street-wise, his mother said. Before Saturday, he never even hopped on a city bus by himself.
The ordeal is an emotional roller coaster for his father, who never envisioned himself sitting in front of media asking for help to find his son.
“It been up and down,” Len said. “As we get a little bit of information about where he’s at, you get a little glimmer of hope. You try to narrow it down to a location, but then you can’t find him.”
The Di Vincenzos have put up posters with his photograph across Nanaimo, searched parks and talked with anyone who might have seen him. So have police. The RCMP Bike Patrol has canvassed homeless and street people asking them to keep an eye out.
“They have a good rapport with the homeless people in town and they’re out looking for him as well,” said Sgt. Sheryl Armstrong, Nanaimo RCMP spokeswoman. “So we’ve got a big network of people looking for this young fellow and we’re just hoping Scott does get hold of his parents and we find him and bring him home safely.”
Police do not suspect Di Vincenzo has become a victim of any form of foul play.
Di Vincenzo is 5’3″, 111 pounds with blue eyes and shaggy blonde hair. He was wearing black skinny jeans, a medium blue hoodie and black high top shoes.
He does not know anyone in Nanaimo and has very little money with him.
Anyone with information about him is asked to call 911, Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Nanaimo Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.