Missing Ricky found, Orlando student questioned - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Missing Ricky found, Orlando student questioned

 By Michelle Quesada

FORT PIERCE, FL (WFLX) - The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office is revealing new details about the disappearance of Fort Pierce teen Richard "Ricky" Henson who was later found safe in Orlando.

At a news conference Saturday night Sheriff Ken Mascara said the teen was lured by a college student via social media. "In this case, Ricky befriended someone, and that person came from Orlando here Thursday afternoon and enticed Ricky into the car, and he traveled to Orlando with him," the sheriff said.

He said the person, whom he did not identify, drove Ricky to an apartment in Central Florida. He described it as a nice apartment but sparsely furnished.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agents are interviewing the college student to see if a crime was committed. It was their lead on social media that led Sheriff Mascara to Orlando and Ricky's recovery.

Henson told the sheriff that he watched a lot of TV while he was gone. The sheriff also said the teen had no idea the commotion his disappearance caused.

Henson arrived back at the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office shortly after 7:30 p.m. "For lack of a better word, he [Henson] doesn't have a lot of street smarts. He appears to have led a sheltered life. And I just think being away from home, out of his element without the security of his family, someone was going to take advantage of him. If it was not this guy [the college student], it was going to be someone else," the sheriff said.

Henson told the sheriff he was not injured in any way. "We could have had a dead 15-year-old boy on our hands," Sheriff Mascara said at the evening news conference. 'You really believe that?' he was asked. "Oh yeah, no doubt in my mind," the sheriff responded.

Ricky's grandmother, Rose Henson, made a brief appearance at the news conference Saturday night to express her appreciation that Ricky was safe. "We cannot express how we feel at this time except that we are overjoyed, but we wanted you to know, thank you, thank you so very, very much from the bottom of our hearts."

Sheriff Mascara said earlier Saturday during a noon press conference that 75 personnel from the Sheriff's Office were working on Ricky's case.

Detectives went door to door talking to neighbors. The search for the teen had expanded to a five mile radius from where he was last seen. Thousands of fliers were passed out and posted at convenience stores, skating parks, and other areas nearby.

Neighbors who live in the Greenwood community where the teen lives said they were relieved to learn he was found unharmed. "I'm glad that he was found, and I'm very thankful. He's been in my prayers and my thoughts," said Patricia Stoll, who lives across from Henson's grandmother's home.

Stoll says there's been a lot of knocks at her door in the last few days, mostly from police. "They came to the house and wanted to search the closets, and he checked every nook and cranny in the back and outside the patio, everywhere that a child could stay," added Stoll.

One neighbor said he was the last one to see Ricky at 5:10 p.m. Thursday evening. He said the teen was just playing basketball and waved. Police say that window from 5:10 to 5:30 is when he disappeared.

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