The two South Florida teens missing since late June, after running away from home, have been reunited with their parents after running out of gas in Montana.
“Our prayers have been answered,” the author of the Facebook page created in the wake of the teens’ running away wrote Wednesday evening. “Ivy and ronnie ran out of gas in a rural area in 2600 miles away in Montana 3 miles from the next gas exit on a 100 mile stretch of interstate. An alert sheriff took them. Ronnie’s father and I are flying there now to go get them… thank you all for everything, now I need to stop crying like a baby and get to the airport love you all thank you thank you thank you.”
The teens were initially reported as missing children, but interviews with Ivy’s father, Scott Warhul, subsequently shed light on a difficult situation the two teens were facing, including severe bullying at school, which eventually led to their decision to leave South Florida.
The story drew relentless attention, but also generated some controversy through social media as readers commented on, and judged, the teens’ motives. Today, in a Facebook posting, the teens’ parents attempted to combine gratefulness with admonitions: “Thank You all for the Support, Prayers, and Kindness that you have showed,” a posting early this morning read, “and I’m sure will continue to show Ivy, Ronnie and our families. We are all very blessed to have you by our sides. I would Also like to ask those who have nothing nice to say; Please just unfollow us! Let Our families and the hundreds of other Caring People enjoy the fact that Ivy and Ronnie are SAFE!!! We all deserve the peace without the stress of Your judgmental remarks!”
But supportive comments far outnumbered negative ones. Laura Weiland’s summed up the mood: “Congratulations! I am so happy for you and your families to have your kids back. I will pray that as your family works through this that you just become closer than ever. I know that it is a huge relief to know your kids are alive and safe. Quite frankly, ths page was started to find your children and not for people to give you a hard time. ( As if they are perfect) There is not one perfect parent alive on this planet and sometimes even if a parent does everything right things still happen. Ignore them. They are just unhappy people with nothing better to do. Enjoy your kids. Ronnie and Ivy, your family loves you more than life itself. No one is on this planet forever. Cherish your family as they cherish you. You two have a lifetime. God Bless you all! Such a happy day!!!!!!!”
The previous story is below.
Search For 2 Teens Missing 2 Weeks Intensifies as They Are Spotted in Palm Coast and St. Johns
June 11–First considered runaways, two Northport, Fla. teens missing for two weeks and spotted in the past week in St. Johns and Flagler counties have now been categorized as missing as a search for them intensifies in several counties.
Ivy Warhul, 14, and Ronnie Sousa, 16, went missing on May 27 at 4 a.m. when they left in a gray Honda Element (license plate number DWB3S). Warhul is from Northport, Sousa from Tampa.
“Last Thursday I was at the beach when I walked past two teens that were acting a bit odd,” Dawn Dicey, a Palm Coast resident who’s volunteered her time for the search, said. “Later that evening I was looking at my Facebook and in the news feed was a post from the St Johns County Sheriff asking for leads on two missing teens. I recognized the teens as the ones from the beach and contacted Ivy’s father and the St Johns Sheriff.”
Dicey said the teens were spotted “multiple times” in the Palm Coast area and were last seen at I-95 and U.S.1. There, it appears from a surveillance camera authorities were able to analyze, the teens got gas for the car at a gas station about a week ago.
“On Wednesday,” Ivy’s father Scott Warhul said by phone this morning, referring to last Wednesday, “I get a call from a guy who said he looked at the flier and his heart stopped, he said he just gave gas money to these kids.” That was at the gas station on U.S. 1 in St. Johns, just over the Flagler-St. Johns County line.
Scott Warhul has been traveling up and down the coast of Northeast Florida, from Daytona Beach to St. Augustine, distributing fliers and checking on leads. “It’s my daughter’s favorite area in the world,” he said of St. Augustine. “She knows that area, she can blend in really well.”
Ivy’s parents set up a Facebook page to aid the search. It appears that the teens themselves consider their actions as a form of elopement. “[J]ust want everyone to know we are taking them missing very seriously,” the Facebook page’s authors wrote today. “We are not glorifying their behavior in Any way. Seems like they are taking any means to be together. It’s now entering into 15 days that they’ve been missing. please keep sharing their poster!!”
A few newspapers and television stations have reported the case.
Ivy Warhul is 5’2, 85 lb, has light, long brown hair with blond and red highlights, and has braces. Her father is offering a reward for her recovery. Any information about her and Sousa, call Officer Chris Morales of the Northport Police Department, 941/677-3126, or Scott Warhul at 813/810-9028.
Ronnie Wayne Sousa Jr. is 5’11, weighs 220 lb., has brown eyes and brown hair. If you have any information regardinmg his disappearance, contact Jim Iverson with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, at 813/927-2354, or private investigator Jason Butz, 904/762-7805.
“Ivy and Ronnie we will find you,” a recent Facebook page posting states. “No matter how long it takes. We will never stop looking. It’s getting dark again. Please be safe wherever you are!! Lord let no harm come upon them and let them know how many people care about them. Amen.”
Sea Bird says
Try the campgrounds and the islands off the intra-coastal waterway. There’s homeless villages back in there .
Mary Ellen Frederickson says
Thank you so much for posting this story. There are a lot of bad people out there who will take advantage of young teenagers who have run out of money. We need to find them and get them home where they are safe.
Mary Ellen, there are bad people out there. Always have been. But there are many times more good people in this world today, and that has always been true too. This 21st Century Romeo and Juliet didn’t get all the way to Montana by themselves. I’m sure they had a lot of help provided by the kindness of complete strangers just like the lovers Shakespeare wrote about 510 years ago.. The same human kindness 99% of us have been lucky enough to find when we desperately needed it at a low point in our lives. The same we ourselves try to pass to others who need it. But the evil bastards who comprise the other 1% is all we hear about today. But don’t let it kill the kindness of the masses.
I read something in a jungle once that lifted me when I really needed a lift. It was old, it had nothing to do whit my life at the time (I thought), but it still lifts me today to a plane where I can see the best in my fellow man, and I’m a cynical son of a bitch. It is from an essay by Robert Louis Stevenson written over a hundred years ago, It’s called Pulvis et Umbra, which means We are Shadows and Dust. But if you take the time to read it and struggle through the old language, you’ll see he thought we were much more. Here is an excerpt. Google it all if you wish from here. Trust me, it’s worth the effort.
Pulvis et Umbra
Poor soul, here for so little, cast among such hardships, filled with
desires so incommensurate and so inconsistent, Savagely surrounded,
savagely descended, irremediably condemned to prey upon his fellow
lives: who should have blamed him had he been of a piece with his
destiny and a being merely barbarous? And we look and behold him
instead filled with imperfect virtues: infinitely childish, often
admirably valiant, often touchingly kind; sitting down, amidst his
momentary life, to debate of right and wrong, An ideal of decency,
to which he would rise if it were possible; a limit of shame, below
which, if it be possible, he will not stoop. Man is indeed marked for failure in his
efforts to do right. But where the best consistently miscarry, how
tenfold more remarkable that all should continue to strive; and surely
we should find it both touching and inspiriting, that in a field from
which success is banished, our race should not cease to labour.
Imperfect Virtues. I like that.
Let it Be says
Ah….Love Birds !!!!
Little Diddie about Jack & Diane…Two Americans kids doing the best that they can.
I also hope when they are found that they are not treated like criminals.
common sense says
Yea, they just need a hug and some understanding for doing this to their parents and costing the taxpayers loads of time and money. I wish to GOD that runaways here were treated like criminals and sent to juvy. or had to payback in some way. Its ridiculous what kids can do and get away with and they know it… world of no consequences and people like you are feeding right into it.
Do they have a head light out? I didn’t get a chance to follow the vehicle tonight on my way to get my son. But passed a vehicle of this description around 10:30 PM on King St in St Augustine at the corner of King and Martin Luther King St. If any cameras please check, or will help tell you if it was them.
I swore the minute I saw the set of pictures, these kids are always up and down county road 210.
Scott Warhul says
Scott can u please call me 8138109028 this is ivys dad
Have you been in touch with CFSI in Florida – they have a really large network for searching for missing kids.
Sorry Scotty and Stephaine, but Ivy is a runaway? Not missing….
I hope she comes home soon.
PC Dad says
So happy to see them safely found and not further victimized.
Really wish those that enjoy bullying others would wake up and realize the hell they put people through because they have such a bad attitude and vision of life.
I am so happy for the two teens and their parents that were found. Now starts hopefully a new positive chapter in their lives that by the way is very brief our path on earth. Wish you happiness and peace.
Thank God they are safe!
ⓖⓔⓔⓩⓔⓡ Live long and prosper... says
Out of the mouths of babes (oft times come gems).
Sometimes they scare the heck out of their parents too!
GLAD TO HEAR THEY ARE SAFE NOW THOUGH!!!!!!!