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

Colwood drive-thru window smashed after suspect receives burger without mustard

Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Victoria police searching for suspect after baseball bat assault

Man assaulted in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue

Victoria police make arrest in connection to string of James Bay fires

50-year-old man faces recommended arson charges for May 14 fires

Second bear sighting in a week at View Royal neighbourhood

West Shore RCMP warns residents to not approach black bears

Unleashed pups not permitted in some Saanich parks

Residents reminded of summer dog restrictions within district

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Most Read