Missing Brookline teen found safe in New York City

Brookline Police tweeted tonight that Caleb Jacoby, son of Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, has been found "safe and well." The department elaborates:

The Brookline Police, working with many other agencies over the past few days were able to provide information to the New York City Police Department that Caleb Jacoby may be in the area of Times Square. Based upon this information at approximately 9PM New York City Police informed us they had located Caleb and he was safe and sound. Plans are now being formulated to transport Caleb back home.

He had gone missing on Monday.

Meanwhile, WFXT reports a Topsfield teen who had gone missing yesterday has also turned up safe.



Free tagging: 


Glad to hear it!!

By on

Jeff Jacoby is a good man and a great dad. In addition to that, he's the only columnist at the Globe with any common sense. Thank God his son Caleb has been found safe.

I said loathe, not hate.

By on

It's been years since I've read his column but I can think of lots of reasons. My point, I guess, is that my loathing doesn't remotely extend to wishing harm on him and certainly not on his children. I always winced at the "letters to Caleb" columns, frankly--who among us would have enjoyed seeing our adolescent ups and downs with our parents the subject of a newspaper column?

I have to say, of all of his

I have to say, of all of his columns, I couldn't STAND those letters-to-Caleb columns. They seemed like thoughts and words that were better off being kept private. I noticed the published his last one in 2009, so maybe good sense (and family privacy) prevailed.

Having said that, that feeling has no bearing on Caleb's safe return, which is a terrific outcome here.

Very well said.

By on

I have been thinking the exact same thing in regards to those "letters to Caleb". I also winced when I read them. For the life of me, I really don't understand why a parent would publically chastise his child in a newspaper column. It is almost akin to public shaming.

While I am very happy that Caleb has been found, I can only feel sorry for him, if he is returning to a home where, possibly, there is so much tension that he felt a need to runaway in the first place. I wish him all the best.

Sally's loathing

By on

Sally, your progressive/liberal stripes are showing. Someone dares to hold differing views than yours and they deserve to be 'loathed' by you. Progressive tolerance on display.


You almost got a Conservative Buzzword Bingo here, so congratulations.

Tolerance does not mean embracing that person or idea. It means tolerating it. And Sally clearly tolerates it because she isn't calling for the Globe to fire Jacoby or calling for a boycott of all Globe and John Henry-owned entities. She isn't demanding that Jacoby's lifestyle be outlawed or that he and those like him be made second-class citizens. She is simply stating that she doesn't like his columns, and presumably his positions.

Frankly, his columns are some of the worst-written in the Globe (which, seeing as they also give a paycheck to CHB is saying something), so even if one agrees with his moral/political positions one could also loathe what he is doing to logical constructions and the art of rhetoric and debate.

Now, calm the f*ck down if you're going to play here, and stop being so knee-jerk reactionary and butthurt (that's an internet term, by the way, sort of like how not all anons are the same person) at every single manufactured insult.

(sorry, I know I shouldn't feed the trolls but this guy/gal is too much...)

A little testy there Craig...?

By on

Craig, After that windbag childlike reply, I get a kick out of you telling anyone else to "Calm the f*uck down". Run out of valiums today little guy??

Just trying to head off

your ongoing rantings on every post from here ad infinitum that you are able to find some sort of perceived insult embedded within. Whether it's tilting at "Irish Catholic bigotry" windmills, lecturing people on whether they are allowed to dislike a particular columnist, or fighting that ever-present and evil Anon, you are ready and willing to chime in with a lot of ill-placed comments. It's a bit tiring. And apparently 33 other people (as of this posting) seem to believe so, as well, so I'm certainly not alone.

There you go again Craig..

By on

Testy little guy needs his meds. I know Craig that it must kill you that every post on this site doesn't tow your little lefty line. But that's life, get used to it. There's a whole big world out there filled with people who think boys like you are pretty strange, sad and need a reality check. Hang in their child, things will get better for you - maybe..


For continuing to prove me right!

I'm done with this, so I'll allow you the last word, since I know you'll want to throw another ad hominem attack out there.

Yes, the last intelligent word...

By on

Of course Craig, I get the last word. When you little whiners run out of your 'progressive talking points' that you've been indoctrinated with, you name call and slink away. Much like a bully in a playground. You are always more comfortable when everyone lets you have your way.

Try actually reading a post sometime

By on

...instead of leaping in to bloviate and hurl senseless insults. Maybe you'd learn more that way and not just come off as an arrogant jerk who can't spell for peanuts.

Believe it or not

By on

There are plenty of people who hold very different viewpoints from me who I find fascinating, intelligent, charming, intriguing, or loveable. Jeff Jacoby is not one of them.

Well, no...

By on

Jeff Jacoby is a good man and a great dad.

These two things are now in doubt because of the actions of his kid. As a conservative columnist he makes his living moralizing and telling others how to live. If he can't keep his own house in order then who can take him seriously anymore?

Because all parents MUST be perfect or else?

C'mon - like Sally, I loathe the man's writings. But his public prose and his personal behavior are not the same thing. Sixteen year olds sometimes take off, and the kid did manage an NYC adventure solo, meaning he gained some skills to do so safely somewhere! It may simply be the result of nothing more than the ever-present adolescent quest for independence, with, perhaps, some school and/or social stress thrown in.

While I admit my first thought was that, perhaps, the young man has somehow found conflict with his father's didactic beliefs, I have absolutely no way of knowing if that is true or not. This kid is described as rather serious and thoughtful, which could lead to conflicts if his father refuses to discuss things and takes the "my way is the only way" view of the world, but that is an age old story with young critical thinkers.

In any case, parenting is not a perfect science. Having a kid run off on you isn't necessarily a result of "bad parenting". Fledglings have to learn to fly solo somehow.

I'm not sure this was a newsworthy event

By on

How come every time a kid, or even a grown person, "runs off" and "has an adventure" nowadays the entire public has to be dragged into it? It makes the news, we are discussing it here, and as of this morning there were still flyers all over the T. It would seem the parents knew the kid left of his own accord.

Not all who go missing are runaways


I didn't say not to be worried (although the initial post did NOT give the full story!). I was vilified because I pointed out that, given she was 18 = AN ADULT, she could not be considered to be a runaway and that she had a lot more options and could have gone a lot farther away than people seemed to want to consider.

That, and if she did, they would have no way to compel her return.

That isn't "shouldn't be worried", that is simply the reality that she was not a child, and in a legally and functionally VERY different situation than Caleb Jacoby. Were he 18, he would have every right to refuse to return to his family, and also the right to not have his parents know of his exact whereabouts.

Of course, attacking people for stating uncomfortable truths straight up or, say, not playing by some specific limited microculture's special social rules about when to discuss things seems to be pretty standard around here.

We knew he was on an "adventure"?

By on

Maybe because no one knew where the young person went. If my teen disappeared I would want everyone on earth helping me find her.

It was a good thing that it was news. When a child is missing it is news.

Armchair quarterbacks who say what it would "seem" without knowing any facts are really sort of annoying.

Wow, I must say I disagree

By on

Wow, I must say I disagree with every single word of this post. First of all, you've no idea what prompted the son to go to NYC. Secondly, I've never read Jacoby telling you or anyone how they should live. He rights an opinion column, disagree with him - sure, but you're questioning his parenting skills?

Who the hell are you?

Not aging. It's all the

By on

Not aging. It's all the misspellings on the internet. The other day I completely forgot how to spell 'definitely' due to its abuse on social media. :)

You never read Jacoby telling

By on

You never read Jacoby telling anyone how they should live? That's your failure to do your homework. Jacoby told his son how he should live, rather testily too, in a public article in the globe. And I'm just thinking of the bar mitzvah one; for all I know there are others.

It's a real simple deal: if a parent lectures his kid in a public article, the public gets to lecture the parent. Don't want to be publicly criticized? Don't make a public spectacle of yourself. Don't want to be discussed? Don't make yourself a topic of the public discourse. When you take money for writing about your kid, you lose all expectation that others won't form opinions -- and express them -- about your parenting.

You're absolutely right that we don't have any idea why the kid ran. For all we know, he is perfectly fine with how his dad wrote about him in public and he was just chasing a girl, or some other completely unrelated thing. But we also know the kid is someone whose father had little respect for his privacy or dignity, and as such we understand if he were to open up some space.


I didn't take Jacoby seriously to begin with; how could I, after reading some of his fishwrap?

But I wouldn't judge his parenting based on the fact that his 16 year old ran off to New York for the week. That's even more absurd than his columns.

Like Swirly says, the kid is 16 already. It doesn't appear the boy was ever in any danger; he didn't do anything crazy, merely discourteous. I hope he had fun. I traveled independently by 16. Lots of people do. He should have phoned home. Perhaps his family overreacted, but so what? I'm sure they love him very much and are happy to have him home again. There's nothing nearly as outrageous in this little wanderwoche as there is likely to be in Jacoby's next screed. I'm wondering if it will be possible for JJ to resist blaming it on liberals or government.

Have you been there?

By on

Times Square can be VERY dangerous. Especially if you are a sheltered Brookline kid with no street smarts.

Yes, I have

And it is very touristy and tame compared to when I first saw the place in the 80s. I don't hesitate to leave or meet my teens there.

Times Square is like

By on

Times Square is like Disneyland compared to what it once was 25 years ago. Cappy, perhaps you haven't visited in decades! Furthermore, why do you assume he's a 'sheltered Brookline kid with no street smarts'? Why are so many people bashing this kid without knowing any context to the situation? Maybe he is suffering from depression or some other mental condition. Maybe he's escaping an unbearable situation at home, at school -- who knows. Too quick to judge.

I'm in NYC every month

By on

And just because it looks like Disneyland doesn't mean the same predators aren't everywhere.
I'm pretty amazed that you think that just because it isn't dotted with dive bars and strip joints any more that that makes it safe.

Maybe you guys haven't visited Disneyland in decades. Times Square is nothing like that.

You win a trip back there...

...to see how much it has changed since then!

Personally I still dislike Times Square but for different reasons. Go check it out though; it's completely different than it used to be.

Times Square

Bright lights, big city. Glad to hear that he is okay. Hopefully, just an adventure and all is well at home.


Looking forward to this (but wish it starred Angela Lansbury, as originally planned).

Just watched Darjeeling Express last week -- which was my last remaining unseen (unreleased) WA film.

Such relief for both families

Such relief for both families!

Had to say, when this morning came around and there was no announcement that Caleb had shown up, I was starting to assume the worst. Wow, that kid had quite an adventure. Now, let's give the family some space to figure out what happened.

Thank God this turned out OK

By on

that said, what this 'good' and extremely smart young man did was unconscionable. It is not OK he decided to go on an 'adventure' or 'walkabout' in NYC, had no contact with his family, caused a lot of time and expense to be spent on searching for him. Give him a big hug, let him get some rest, then get him some badly needed help, because he obviously has issues.

Yowza. Nice judgement call, anon.

By on

Actually, it is not Ok that a child of 16 felt the need to run away from home, period. I think this is more about some family dynamics at home and since you or I do not know the child and/or his parents, we can only assume that. If that is the case, then I would think the entire family (and not just Caleb) could benefit from some group counseling as well as individual counseling, don't you think?

Probably not a whole lot, really

There weren't dozens of investigators called on to duty to comb through the woods, nor Coast Guard vessels called in to search the seas. It seemed to be as simple as issuing BOLO's and giving out press releases with pictures.

I mean, of all the waste that goes on, are you SERIOUSLY trying to fault missing person cases?

Yes, I am. Look, I feel bad

Yes, I am. Look, I feel bad for the family and I'm glad he's found, but so much energy was wasted for some kid running away. You are probably right, not much money was spent, but nonetheless it took energy and time, energy and time that could've been devoted to something else, something more important.

Consider This

In Europe, sixteen year old kids and older get free run to travel. In fact, there are discounts at hostels and half-price train fares galore because such adventures are EXPECTED. A young relative in France, a year older than my son, takes off with her friends all the time (but she does establish some form of plan, first).

I think they authorities got this one just right: spread the word that, if you see this kid, he took off without warning and people are very worried about that. There was no person hunt like there was for the girl in NH. No roadblocks, etc. Just "if you see him ..." and that is perfectly okay.

Sounds like the kid managed his adventure well. I'm also surprised that he's viewed as such a vulnerable child when he's only four or five months younger than when I left home permanently and moved across the country (which was during the big national crime wave), so maybe I don't share this view of "too young" nor the view of "not okay if he wants to run away". I couldn't fracking wait to get away! Had I not been graduating early, I very well might have taken off sooner. That wasn't because my parents were bad parents (they weren't great, but weren't horrific) - it was because I was very independent and very ready to run my own life. Some kids are just like that.

Nobody knew if he WAS in trouble or if he DID need help

I like to hear myself type? And what of your persistent replies here?

Please explain what resources, exactly, were wasted here? No amber alerts, no roadblocks ... just web awareness.

Nobody knew what really happened to him. That was why they put out the alerts. It sounds like they didn't even know if he ran away or not! If I, an adult, didn't show up at work and didn't come home, my family would do the same.

I think they got this one just right given his competence and the circumstances of disappearance - some awareness, solid leads to police, kid was found. No big deal. Cops like happy endings just like rescue dogs do.

Also, I don't see it as the KID or the FAMILY wasting efforts if any were wasted, but, perhaps, SOCIETY wasting efforts infantalizing teens ... but that is an entirely different matter.

I agree to a certain extent

By on

It really comes down to life experiences and maturity. Kids today are a lot more sheltered.Most of the 15 and 16 year olds in my community are not equipped in any way to go off to NYC on their own. It is a dangerous place and there are predators there. I'm not even going to mention how expensive it is.

That age is too young. The parents need to be involved in any decision a KID makes to go walk about or adventuring or they can expect the national guard to be called out.

Are we actually going to pretend that children aren't killed or molested every day in this country?

This went down exactly as I would have hoped.

you do realize

Are we actually going to pretend that children aren't killed or molested every day in this country?

The vast majority of these molestations and most of the murders are by their parents, step-parents, family members, close neighbors or people living in their home.

In fact, a lot of runaways that you don't hear about are fleeing from molestation and abuse in their own homes.


By on

A lot of these murders are done by their parents.....

Ok you're right. Teenagers are safe in NYC all by themselves. Sorry. My Bad.


By on

You sure are scared of the world. Particularly the parts that you don't know about.

Yeah, but

By on

New York has less crime than Boston. I used to see Brookline teens who had free reign to tromp up into Allston Village, and to go shopping in Copley and Downtown Crossing. New Yorkers are bit more brazen and aggressive than Bostonians, but honesty, a kid who can navigate themselves around Boston will have enough street smarts to catch on to what's what in New York pretty quickly.

I do agree that 15 and 16 year old shouldn't be running off to places like NY without a parent's blessing, because there are all sorts of pitfalls that teenagers just don't see (usually involving going off with strangers or internet "friends", not knowing which neighborhoods to avoid, drugs and drinks, etc), and a parent would likely know what warnings their particular kid needs to be issued. But to assume that a kid who's regularly loosed on Boston couldn't translate those skills to navigating the most boring, touristy part of NYC is unrealistic. [And I bring no mention, of course, to the kids raised in Boston's less genteel neighborhoods. Some of those kids at 8 could school a 25 year old in street smarts.]

I agree we as a society baby young adults

By on

and there's plenty of blame for to go around for this, it's not just the fault of 'conservatives' or 'progressives/liberals'. We have become an oppressive nanny state. That said, the young man left without informing responsible adults (parents?) in his life? If this is the case, it's a serious act of immaturity. And what makes me even more angry is every time these 'boy/girl who cried wolf' incidents occurs, it makes it that much more difficult to get people to take seriously genuine missing persons cases, that could and do end up with much less happy endings. The young man displayed a serious lack of maturity by going on his 'adventure' the way he did.

And frankly, I've read many of your other posts, and your constant references to how superior the western Europeans do things gets tiresome. I've lived in Europe and travelled all over it, and still visit regularly. My parents were both born and raised in Europe. I was raised in a very cosmopolitan urban environment. Much of what you post about how superior the Europeans vs Americans are is at best exaggerated, at worse untrue. The one accuse thing said about Europeans (in general) is they do legally treat their young adults as full adults, they don't deny them the right to legally buy and drink alcohol, etc. until they're 21 (!). On the other hand it's common for many if not most young adult Europeans, especially in southern Europe, to not move out on their own and live at home into their 20s, 30s. Unemployment among young adult Europeans is very high. Many also have very close knit families, extended families and communities, something almost extinct in the U.S.


By on

I've read many of your other posts

Anon is definitely the most annoying poster here.

We're not in Europe

By on

Kid didn't run away to Europe. He wasn't raised in Europe. I doubt he even spoke to a European during his lil walkabout.

Why must you always bring Europe into it? I see no relevance.

Would your French relatives let their daughter run around NYC totally unsupervised? I'd say they're halfwits if they would, and yes, I know how relatively safe the city is.

I assume you hold those

By on

I assume you hold those opinions every time a child goes missing? Funny, I've never put a price tag on searches for missing children. I thought thats what concerned society does.

Hey, Nostradamas?

Did you know what had happened to him? Really? I mean, we know now that he was safe, and we knew then that it was a good bet that he took off, but that's what people thought about that woman who was found dead a year later in a pond on the Northshore, too, as well as that BC student, etc.

Uh, I'm sorry, but isn't that

Uh, I'm sorry, but isn't that why we pay taxes? I'd like to think that if a member of my family went missing that the police would do something about it, and not first conduct a cost-benefit analysis--which is what you seem to be doing.

Quiet Teens

sometimes resort to loud actions and this teen absolutely got our attention. We're all glad he was found, safe and sound, and a teen adventure is one thing, but scaring the bejesus (or bemoses) out of his parents along with half of New England and beyond is not okay.