Alex Meikle, 14, stands at a bus stop on Jacklin Road in Langford with a shovel. Meikle and a friend of his spent two snow days shovelling bus stops on the West Shore to help commuters in earlier this year. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Former runaway teen helps find missing youths through social media

Alex Meikle created the Facebook group Greater Victoria Missing & Runaway Teens

It wasn’t too long ago that 14-year-old Alex Meikle was spotted shovelling snow at several bus stops on the West Shore to help out commuters.

Now, he’s started a Facebook group called “Greater Victoria Missing Persons” to help locate people in the city that have gone missing or have run away.

“I was a runaway youth myself,” Meikle said. “I was an angsty teenager and didn’t like the way my mother was running the house so I decided I can do better on my own … I lived on the streets in Victoria and Vancouver for the entire summer.”

Meikle said he eventually decided living on the streets wasn’t the best idea, so he came home.

READ ALSO: Langford teen shovels West Shore bus stops to help commuters

After being active for four days the group already had more than 600 members. He launched it on Sept. 16, just two days before Saanich police sent out a release about a missing youth.

Meikle tracked down the girl’s mom, asking for permission to help find her daughter. When he got the go-ahead, he made a poster which was shared online and managed to reach out to the missing youth through social media. He said he tried to keep the conversation casual so she would respond.

“It was a shock to both me and her mother when she replied on Snapchat,” Meikle said.

He was in the middle of negotiating a safe return home when Saanich police found the youth. He noted police were aware of all of his moves during the process.

After living on the street for a couple of months, Meikle said he managed to make some contacts in the community as well. He believes his connections can help in locating missing persons in the region.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Missing high risk youth from Saanich found

Meikle also gives parents of missing youth his mother’s phone number, since she knows what it feels like to have a child go missing.

Before starting the group, Meikle said he helped find three missing persons as well.

His next steps are to reach out to other police forces in the hopes that he can work with them in the future.

Meikle, who will be turning 15 this year, said he would like to become an advanced care paramedic.

When asked why, he had a simple answer.

“I really like helping people.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria man charged in stabbing death of Vancouver overdose prevention worker

Maximus Roland Hayes, 23, is facing one count of manslaughter in connection to the killing

Langford theft investigation leads to national crime ring

More than $250,000 in stolen goods recovered, $67,000 in cash seized

Fraudsters impersonating Victoria police convince victim to put $6,000 into bitcoin machine

Police officers impersonated in latest scam to convince victims of legitimacy

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

VicPD uses non-lethal rounds to remove woman barricaded in stranger’s basement

The woman is believed to have broken into a dealership, attempting to steal a vehicle earlier in the evening

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Devil’s Hand Poker Run in Campbell River to face RCMP scrutiny

The Campbell River RCMP will be keeping a close eye on the… Continue reading

B.C.’s fuel suppliers to publish prices to provide accountability: minister

Bruce Ralston says move will ensure industry publicly accountable for unexplained prices increases

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

Most Read