Absolutely heartbreaking.

Yesterday, we were shocked to learn that Caleb Jacoby, 16-year-old son of Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, has been missing since Monday:

The Jacobys live in Brookline, Massachusetts, and search efforts are underway throughout the Boston area (MassLive has more information).

We can’t even begin to imagine what Jacoby’s family is going through.

Caleb clearly means the world to his father:

Late last night, Jacoby sent this message to his followers:

We will continue to hope and pray for Caleb’s safe return.



Caleb’s aunt Debby has been tweeting since his disappearance:





Terrific news: Caleb has been found.

  • karmafordems

    Positive thoughts being sent your way. God will help.

  • Janice LEE

    G-dspeed. You have always been there for us and now we are praying for you.

  • Clete Torres

    Oh man. Best wishes and prayers for his safety and quick return.

  • CatHerder ✓fire! ✓fire!

    Hoping you find him soon.

  • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    When it is an adolescent like Caleb missing, the authorities generally tend to rule out “stranger abduction/sequestration,” which, despite Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, and the young women in Cleveland, is infinitesimally statistically rare anyway, and especially for a boy that age, unless he were unusually vulnerable. Absent a ransom demand, the police chalk it up to a “cruel trilemma” for the parents to consider:

    (1) Foul play, and the remains have not been discovered yet;
    (2) Accident, and again, no discovery of remains;
    (3) “Voluntary,” i.e., the young man does not want to be found– a situation which, given his age, unfortunately often brings us back to (1) and (2).

    I cannot begin to imagine the grief this family is experiencing. All I can do is to wish them the fortitude to come through this whatever the outcome, and that their belief system, such as it is, sustain them through these dark times.

    It should obviously go without saying that the best possible outcome is the safe return of Caleb, of course.

    • Matthew Koch

      If he did disappear willingly, at that age one would have to consider the possibility of him having a mental illness or a drug problem.

      • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        A condition best left to be dealt with by the family, away from the spotlight– but had that sort of thing been known to the family, it would have been publicized, I should think; every “Have you seen?” poster I’ve ever noticed mentions it, if it applies, the better to assist in finding the person.

        • Matthew Koch

          Sorry, I should have been more specific. I was leaning towards the possibility of it being an undiagnosed condition. With the possibility that the longer it goes unnoticed, the more likely the person is to act in an unsafe fashion.

          • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Well, actually I should have been– I was referring more to the “schizophrenia/autistic/mentally-slow”-type diagnosis, but a deeply-depressed young man who had been in treatment is a candidate for one of those things I mentioned above, and so that condition, if it applied, should be publicized.

            If the kid would only now be starting to show symptoms of schizophrenia, it could very well be undiagnosed, as he might be reticent about mentioning anything– the same with depression.

            Let us hope it is not some panic condition, possibly even well-founded, stemming from a perception of impending imminent harm from others– a “getting-out-of-Dodge” on this kid’s part. (Nor, for that matter, a cool deliberate choice to do it, needing to do so for the same reason.)

  • mickeyco

    I can’t imagine anything worse than having a child missing. Prayers with the Jacobys.

  • desicon

    God will help you.

  • Jenn Oates

    I expect that Michelle knows exactly how it feels to have a loved one go missing.

  • nc ✓s & balances

    I cannot believe a “thin” 16 yo would voluntarily run away during the three coldest days of his life.

    If there was mental illness involved, I’m sure the family would have mentioned it to the police.

    Therefore, I fear foul play is at work here. I pray I’m wrong.

    • Librarian

      So, a “fat” 16yo would? That’s just dumb on its face. If there’s mental illness involved, it’s none of our business; I’m sure the police can keep that under wraps. It’s our business to pray or help if possible, that’s all.

      • nc ✓s & balances

        I’m sorry I expressed myself so poorly. When I put “thin” in quotes I meant not rugged or hardy enough for the brutal weather. Not being “fat” had nothing to do with it.

        Of course I’m praying for his safe return. Was that not clear either?

  • conservative2012

    Unfortunately young people this age don’t always see the danger out there. Some think they can probably handle whatever comes their way. I just hope he comes home safe. When my son was a teenager he always said to me. “Trust me mom”. I told him it’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s that there are so many out there that don’t always have your best interests, and you’re not always going to be able to defend yourself against these people.

  • interestedobserver2

    Boy, I hope he is okay!