Runaway boy reunited with parents tells of 'adventure'

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The Independent Online
A BOY OF 12 who disappeared after being befriended by a stranger treated it as an adventure, his mother said yesterday.

She disclosed that after running away from home following a row over his pets, Ian Hartney carried pictures of the animals with him as he wandered around Britain.

Ian was reunited with his parents, Jackie and Malcolm Hartney, early yesterday after being found with a man in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. A 44-year-old man was in custody, helping police with their inquiries.

Ian was brought back to Wigan, Greater Manchester, to see his parents at the town's police station. The couple spent about two hours talking to their son although they were not allowed to question him in detail.

'I gave him a big hug,' said Mrs Hartney . . . We told him it had all been forgotten and were relieved that he was safe.

'He wanted to come home but the police took him to a local hotel so he could have a good night's sleep.'

Ian left a note before leaving on Sunday, saying he was running away. He disappeared on Monday after he and a friend camped with the stranger at a Wigan park. The other boy returned home but Ian went off with the man.

Police were questioning Ian later about what had happened.