UPDATE: Detectives said they are continuing to search for Kenneth Colton Laase but now consider him a runaway.
A woman late Thursday reported that she’d picked Kenneth up at a gas station near his home and gave him a ride to the Yelm area. Investigators reviewed surveillance footage from the gas station and confirmed that the boy was Kenneth.
The teen apparently left his car running as a way to trick people into thinking something bad happened to him, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
It’s unclear what prompted him to run away or why he went to Yelm.
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ORIGINAL POST: Detectives searched Thursday for a Graham teenager reported missing after his unoccupied car was found parked and running on the side of a road.
Kenneth Colton Laase, 16, was reported missing by his family, after a neighbor found his silver 2004 Mitsubishi Montero about 1 p.m., less than a third of a mile from his home, on 228th Street East just west of Orting Kapowsin Highway East.
His cellphone and schoolwork were inside.
The Graham Kapowsin High School student went to classes in the morning, but never made it to his 1 p.m. Running Start college course, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
The sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit, detectives, and search dogs looked for him Thursday night.
The disappearance is apparently out of character for the teenager, Troyer said; Laase doesn’t have a history of running away.
He’s described as white, 5 feet 10, 135 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a dark jacket and tan pants when last seen.