‘I miss my boy:’ A heartbroken family thanks officers and neighbors for searching for their 12-year-old boy

Family of Tobey Wells thankful for community support
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 9:14 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee family is still in shock, just days after losing 12-year-old Tobey Wells in a bike accident.

Tallahassee Police reported Wells missing around midnight Saturday, last seen on his bike. Officers later confirmed he had passed away.

On Thursday, the family spoke to WCTV, asking to share a message of thanks to the community.

Tobey’s father, Robert Wells, leafed through a souvenir photo book of a Dolphin encounter experience the family had enjoyed just a week earlier when they were on vacation in Cancun. In one photo, his son is face to face with a dolphin, showing off a gleaming smile.

“He got to swim with the dolphins and get on a pirate ship. He’s just a happy 12-year-old,” the father said.

Wells is trying to comprehend a tragic sequence that began Friday afternoon. He said he thought Tobey may have been frustrated with some schoolwork.

“He left a note on his computer that he was running away, and not to look for him. He would come home when he was ready,” Wells said.

They called police. Officers immediately began to search the surrounding area, eventually including K9 and aerial crews too, Wells said.

And even though the family had moved into their Canopy neighborhood home just days earlier, neighbors stepped up to help, joining the search. One neighbor, he said, hopped on an ATV to search the nearby woods.

“Just the response by the police force and the neighborhood here. All the people here in Canopy,” he said. “It’s the only reason I wanted to do this, to thank them. They made an unbearable situation a little bit better.”

As the family mourns, they remain thankful for the village around them.

“It just restores your faith in humanity, that there are so many good people out there.”

A family friend established a GoFundMe page to help the family during this difficult time.

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