The Tacoma, Washington community is rallying around two families after their young boys went missing on Wednesday. Zabian Welcome, 9, and Jeffery Zupan, 11, reportedly ran away from Zabian's home after a fight with their female caregiver.
Police said the boys were last seen on Wednesday, around 5:00 p.m. They had been spending time at Zabian's home when an altercation with their female caregiver ensued. The woman, still unnamed, has denied that there was any problem between them.
"They were together and there was a little confrontation, disagreement with (a female) caregiver, which apparently upset them and they both took off," policeman Mark Fulghum told The News Tribune.
"Zabian's aunt always kept a very close eye on him, and he was always in the yard," neighbor Britni Benavidez added. "Something is up, because he would always come back."
Zabian's father, John Welcome, told Q13 Fox News that it was normal for Zabian to run away from home after he'd been in trouble. The boy would always return, though, after he had settled down. This marks the first time that Zabian has taken someone along with him when he ran away, prompting the search and fears that something may have happened to either boy.
John also worries that the boys do not have access to food or water, which could prove detrimental given the higher temperatures across the area.
"[I want to] get them back, get them reunited, and get this taken care of," Fulgham explained.
"It's a really good, quiet street. All the kids play together," Dena Kotowski added. Right now police do not suspect foul play, but a massive search is being conducted in the areas the boys frequent.
Anyone with information about the boys is encouraged to call the Tacoma police at (253) 798-4722.