AMBER ALERT TN - Autistic teen Sebastian Wayne Drake Rogers, 15, missing in Hendersonville - Feb 27, 2024

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Someone on another site said if they had an autistic child that was an "eloper", they would have all kinds of security like locks and video cameras! They think it's odd the place wasn't more secure.

I tend to agree.
Most elopers are younger or lower functioning. High functioning teens rarely elope IMO and in my experience . I have a HF ASD teen.
 
I hadn't thought about it, but it's true. I'm a direct support provider, providing care for three kids with varying degrees of autism in their home. You can't walk around a corner in their house without locks, cameras, gates, signage, etc. If that's not present in Sebastian's home, that would lead me to think either 1) his functioning is more similar to what bio dad is saying, or 2) that mom and stepdad are awfully...trusting.
I had all that when my ASD teen was younger, he couldn't be trusted and I wasn't taking any chances. As he grew he learned and calmed down. Now there's no longer a need for so much security. I got the impression that Sebastian is similar
 
One thing I have never been able to reconcile is that the parents are adamant that Sebastian was not a runner, on one hand, but seem equally adamant on the other hand that he walked out the front door.

This is just what I gathered from the interviews I heard. I might have missed additional info somewhere.
 
The agency admitted that there have been only scattered clues as to what happened to Rogers. While there is no proof that there was any criminal or unlawful activity connected to his death, the TBI also noted that lack of evidence does not preclude the possibility of a criminal connection.

"In order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, we cannot discuss many of the specifics surrounding the case. But we know how many people care about Sebastian and what has been done, and is still being done, to bring him home," a release from the TBI stated
 
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I was not an “eloper”, necessarily, but even from early childhood I was a “wanderer” and it was easy for me to either a) get caught up in some sort of script or narrative in my head and wander away from my parents

b) be convinced to do something by a friend (once my friend convinced me to walk 9 km/5.5 miles to meet her at the beach when i was ten, another time someone else convinced me to ride my bike 4 km/2 miles to go to the pool, and throughout junior high and high school my dad would pick me up from 7-11 in the middle of the night (luckily only 1 km from the house) because my friends were bored and asked me to meet them there.

c) come up with an idea by myself and attempt to do it.

when i was three or four, my dad walked his friends home when they had been drinking at our house. i came down the stairs and asked to go, my dad said no and put me back upstairs. my mom went to bed, i followed my dad out the door. i THOUGHT i knew the way to his friend’s house, but of course, i had no idea.

someone else walking one of their friends home saw me, recognized me, and brought me home.

when i was eleven-ish, my friend and i (the one who convinced me to walk to the beach —she’d been dropped off in the morning) were in a city visiting family. we decided to go for a walk, got lost, and were gone for seven hours. the police were called, luckily my uncle found us.

i would regularly tell my parents i was riding my bike to the branch of the library that was 2 km from the house and then change my mind midway through and ride to one of the other locations, 8 and 5 km away.

i wanted to buy a doll when i was around 10, and my parents wouldn’t take me til the next day, so i walked to the mall, 5 km away, to purchase the doll myself.

i would often, when visiting friends, tell my parents i was going to the park near their house and then attempt to go to a park closer to another friend’s house because i preferred to play there with my dolls. usually someone who knew me would see me and bring me back to the friends’ house.

i think it’s entirely possible that sebastian got an idea in his head and just walked away. especially if he saw the flashlight people, then they were gone, and he just kept walking, and met some end that way.

it could’ve happened to me—i was just immensely lucky to have grown up in a small community where my dad was well known.
 
Yeah. I am usually quite the skeptic. But this sweet faced kid?! Mom seemed to love and enjoy taking pic's of him. Proud of him, documenting his life. Not like in some cases where we get pic's that are..IDK just off either in the kid being younger than documented or the pic's being, you know unflattering. He's grinning in most of them and she seems happy too. Stepdad didn't have a negative thing to say about SR either. Loves to dance, play on the play ground, play hide and seek, knew his games. I'd say they were extremely protective of this child. I get there is a chance they were involved I just hope they were not.
FWIW, the Behavior Panelists on YouTube called everything on the stepdad and mom's videos, and all looked normal except a few small things about the stepdad. They don't talk about innocent or guilty. They talk about what people do with their eyes, lips, and body language and what this means when someone is interviewed or talking on the phone.
 
i think it’s entirely possible that sebastian got an idea in his head and just walked away. especially if he saw the flashlight people, then they were gone, and he just kept walking, and met some end that way.

Except his mom and stepdad both said he wasn't prone to running, if I am not mistaken.

Also, all the experiences you recount were more or less during daylight hours, not the wee hours of the morning.

And during any of those experiences did you bother to lock the front door behind you?

I am not jumping on you. However, I don't see many similarities between your experiences and what has been reported in Sebastian's case.
 
I’m absolutely of the mindset that mom and stepdad are not involved- I highly appreciated the Behavior Panel’s episode as they do an awesome job explaining in words what my instincts picked up on, and just how hard that all would have been to coordinate or fake. jmo.
 
Except his mom and stepdad both said he wasn't prone to running, if I am not mistaken.

Also, all the experiences you recount were more or less during daylight hours, not the wee hours of the morning.

And during any of those experiences did you bother to lock the front door behind you?

I am not jumping on you. However, I don't see many similarities between your experiences and what has been reported in Sebastian's case.
my parents would’ve said i wasn’t prone to running either :) because i wasn’t. wandering off and running are two different things. kids who elope are engaging in a very specific behavior that this doesn’t fall under.

also, it was actually a pretty even split, especially by the time i was Sebastian’s age. kids with autism also struggle with sleep.

the door being locked is a red herring i think people are getting too hung up on. there’s plenty of reasons that the door was locked that don’t include him locking it, including him not leaving through that door, it being absentmindedly locked by someone else, or mom simply thinking it was locked when it wasn’t.

the point i’m trying to make is that impulse control and autism are not typically related. the likelihood that he made the decision to walk out the door is significantly higher than people realize.
 
Sebastian’s mom and stepdad did anther YouTube interview on Dutchess again tonight. Not sure I can post it here but check it out.
They answered a lot of questions everyone has been asking all over the place. Their interview starts at the 1 hour 20 minute mark for anyone who wants to watch, as it is rather lengthy. Stepdad states is was very much verified he was in Memphis. Someone asked if Sebastian wanted to live with his biological dad at the end of the school year. They said it was mutually agreed upon he was going to move with him, but Sebastian was anxious at times about it. (He didn't like that the dad smokes). All technology devices have been taken from both parents homes and checked. They all had polygraphs and passed. The flashlight that was missing was a small keychain-type flashlight that could not be found in the house. They don't know for sure if he took it but they could not locate it. The neighborhood with construction next door where he was tracked was checked and a small knee-deep pond in that construction area was drained. There have been multiple dogs brought in for the search. Much more was answered than I can include. Worth a listen. JMO
 
“In order for him to do something that’s out of the normal, something would’ve had to happen that he felt like he just couldn’t deal with it anymore,” Mr Rogers told WTVF in his first interview during a prayer vigil on Sunday
*so, what happened that Sebastian just couldn’t deal with anymore?
 
One thing I have never been able to reconcile is that the parents are adamant that Sebastian was not a runner, on one hand, but seem equally adamant on the other hand that he walked out the front door.

This is just what I gathered from the interviews I heard. I might have missed additional info somewhere.
The “I don’t know why he walked out that front door” comment is weird. I don’t know if it’s just a figure of speech by which they mean “I don’t know where he went.” But it does stick out. I’m also still lost as to how they gave a clothing description but as someone who bundles up to go to bed I’m guessing that was his pjs. Very confused about the flashlight part though.
 
What are spaghetti pancakes?

I find it odd that the answer to "tell us what happened" starts far away at breakfast...

At least we're given a little insight into Sebastian's personality.
"Spahetti pancakes" makes me think of using pancake batter to make long thin strips that kind of looks like spaghetti vs. making round cakes you're used to seeing. I dont know if that's what this refers to though. Here's an example: Pancake Spaghetti
 
People who have an answer for everything trouble me.

Sebastian, with autism, I struggle to see how rigid parenting would work for him. Could he ever get anything right?

:/

I kind of want to run away for him.

Sadly I don't think he got that chance.
 
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