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Missing 13-year-old may be living as a survivalist for the past month, police say

In south-central Wisconsin, a 13-year-old boy named James Yoblonski has been missing for a month, and authorities suspect that he may be attempting to live off the grid in Devil’s Lake State Park. The boy’s family reported him missing on June 12, and the family car was later found near the park. (postcrescent.com) James had expressed an interest in being a survivalist, according to Sauk County Lieutenant Steven Schram. The search for James is ongoing, and authorities are investigating various leads to determine his whereabouts.

As the search continues, the Yoblonski family is desperate to find their son. (co.sauk.wi.us) Bill Yoblonski, James’ father, took to Facebook to appeal for his son’s return, emphasizing that James is not a danger to himself or others. The family is concerned about his well-being and wants him to come home safely. Lieutenant Schram acknowledged that without James providing context, it is challenging to make assumptions about his intentions. The investigation is actively pursuing every piece of information to understand the situation better and ensure James’s safety.

The timeline of events surrounding James’ disappearance sheds light on the efforts made to locate him. Since being reported missing, law enforcement found makeshift campsites and clothing believed to belong to James. These discoveries support the theory that he is trying to live as a survivalist in the park. Unfortunately, some officers were injured while searching the rugged Baraboo Bluffs terrain. The father, Bill Yoblonski, organized a search effort through social media to engage the community in finding his son. (wkow.com)

Devil’s Lake State Park, where James is believed to be, covers a vast area and is known for its diverse wildlife. While it attracts millions of visitors annually, emergency calls often stem from people being unprepared for the park’s challenges, including overexertion, water-related injuries, and getting lost. The conditions within the park present additional concerns for James’s safety, considering his age and lack of resources. (madison.com)

James Yoblonski’s disappearance also has a connection to a longstanding missing persons case. (usatoday.com) Laurie Depies, who disappeared in 1992, is the great-niece of Andy Wegner, James’ relative by marriage. The news of James going missing stirred up painful memories for Laurie’s mother, Mary Wegner. She expressed her fear, anxiety, and a sense of déjà vu. Despite participating in the search for James, Mary believes that something may have happened to him in the woods after two weeks of being missing. She understands the anguish of having a loved one vanish and has been waiting for answers for over three decades.

The families had limited interaction, but Mary remembered James as an energetic and mischievous young boy who enjoyed playing pranks. The connection between the two missing persons cases adds an emotional layer to James’ disappearance, evoking memories and emotions that Mary thought she had left behind. The families remain hopeful for James’s safe return and are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the search efforts. (devilslakewisconsin.com) (facebook.com)

As the search for James Yoblonski continues, the community rallies together in the hope of finding him and ensuring his well-being. The month-long ordeal has taken a toll on his family and the community, heightening concerns and leaving many questions unanswered. The search efforts reflect the determination to bring James home safely and provide support to those affected by his disappearance.

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