Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Missing Autistic Boy Found Ordering a Cocktail at WeHo Bar

Airport surveillance video shows Cameron James Smith leaving Bob Hope Airport
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

An autistic boy who was thought to have mistakenly wandered off from Bob Hope Airport Wednesday morning was located several hours later, ordering up a Screwdriver at a popular West Hollywood watering hole.

15-year-old Cameron James Smith had been aboard a Delta flight operated by SkyWest destined for Salt Lake City, however when mechanical issues forced passengers to deplane before takeoff, Smith took it upon himself to exit the airport and head for over the hill.

Though his parents had watched Smith board the flight, and say they saw the flight pull back from the gate, they did not know that just a few minutes later, Smith was hopping on a BUR parking lot shuttle. Airport surveillance video captured Smith's exit from the facility.

Smith made his way to West Hollywood eventually via public transit, and tried to order a Screwdriver at The Abbey, explains KTLA. Manager Nick Lambert brought him only the orange juice, since Smith was clearly underage. Lambert also recognized the boy from news reports of his disappearance, and tried to confront him. Smith fled, and hid inside the restroom at Pizza Rustica, where police found him, and took him to Burbank Police Station where his parents were waiting.

Support for LAist comes from

While Smith's parents said they told the airline their son was an unaccompanied minor, SkyWest says that was not the case, nor were they informed the boy has autism.

Smith was headed back to school in Utah, but did not want to go, and embraced the opportunity to make a run for it.