Fact Check

Missing Child: Haley Wilson

Is 17-year-old Haley Wilson missing from her Amarillo, Texas, home?

Published Jan. 4, 2012


Claim:   17-year-old Haley Wilson is missing from her Amarillo, Texas, home.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, December 2011]

Somebody posted this video on YouTube just now, urging all of us to re-post it. Something about it just doesn't quite ring true for me. As you'll see, there are other Haley Wilson related videos also on YouTube from various uploaders.


Origins:   Haley Faith Wilson, 17 years old, disappeared from her Amarillo, Texas, home on 26 December 2011. After her father, Ray, woke up the following morning and found her gone, he created the video displayed above to seek help in finding her:

Her father, Ray, told a local television station that she left through her bedroom window with her bedding and her guitar. She left a note saying she felt she had nothing going for her.

Though in her note she told her father not to look for her, Ray immediately reported her as a runaway.

He also posted this YouTube video on Facebook and Twitter. The clip went viral, and he soon had a strong network of followers helping in his search.

Although some viewers opined that the video was merely a stunt to draw publicity for Ray Wilson's band, his efforts paid off, and on Tuesday, 3 January 2012, police officers in Carlsbad, California, located Haley:

An officer pulled over Haley Wilson, 17, of Amarillo, Texas and detained her after learning the girl was reported missing.

Carlsbad police spokeswoman Jodee Sasway said Haley was detained at 4:42 a.m. at Caribou Court and Whiptail Loop. She said the officer was making a safety check.

Ray Wilson explained the circumstances behind the creation of his video in the following interview:

Last updated:   4 January 2012


    Lowrey, Brandon.   "Missing Teen Found After Father Makes YouTube Plea from Texas."

    North County Times   3 January 2012.

    Ruiz, Travis.   "Amarillo Runaway Draws Worldwide Attention."

    ConnectAmarillo.com   3 January 2012.

    Steussy, Lauren.   "Texan Runaway Found in Carlsbad."

    NBC San Diego   4 January 2012.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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