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Officials Release Video Of Stowaway Teen After Surviving Flight From San Jose To Maui

by Tim Fang
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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Officials have released surveillance video of the 15-year-old boy who stowed away on a flight from Mineta San Jose International Airport last month, moments after he landed in Hawaii.

The video from the Hawaii Department of Transportation released Tuesday showed 15-year-old Yahya Abdi of Santa Clara emerging from the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines jet after landing in Maui on the morning of April 20th.

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According to officials, the teen appeared disoriented. He was then questioned by a worker near the plane, who alerted security. Abdi was treated by medics on the scene before he was transported to a Maui hospital.

Authorities said Abdi ran away from the Santa Clara home where he lived with his father, stepmother and siblings and hopped a fence at the airport, several hours before the jet took off for Maui. Medical experts said Abdi survived sub-freezing temperatures and a lack of oxygen during the flight across the Pacific Ocean.

Abdi returned to California late last week and is currently being cared for by the Santa Clara County Department of Family & Children’s Services. Abdilahi Yusuf, the boy’s father, flew to Hawaii last week but was not able to see his son after child welfare officials turned him away.

The boy’s birth mother, who lives in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, said the boy wanted to see her and that the boy’s father falsely told him she was dead. In an interview with KPIX 5 last week, Abdi’s siblings have denied those claims.

The 15-year-old has not been charged with any crime, but the San Jose Police Department said that they are conducting a follow-up investigation and want to interview him about the incident. In a statement released Tuesday evening, department spokesperson Officer Albert Morales said they would work with Abdi’s attorney to have an interview in a timely matter.

After the police investigation is complete, Morales said the department will consult with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and San Jose city officials to determine if any criminal charges will be filed.

Mineta San Jose Airport said Tuesday that it has no plans to release any surveillance video related to this investigation.

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