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Three teens escape from VisionQuest

January 20, 1997

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A 17-year-old boy who escaped Sunday from VisionQuest, a residential home for juvenile offenders in South Mountain, was the third youth to leave the facility without permission over the weekend, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Staffers believe all three youths were picked up outside the grounds by relatives or acquaintances, said VisionQuest spokeswoman Pat Yeager.

Two boys, both 16, escaped early Saturday afternoon by going through a classroom window, police said. Both were wearing black jackets and blue jeans. Staff members chased the youths, but were unable to catch them, Yeager said.

Tire tracks at a point where the staffers lost the trail of the youths led officials to believe they were picked up by someone in a vehicle, Yeager said.

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On Sunday afternoon, a 17-year-old youth left the facility and was last seen getting into a maroon Chevrolet Cavalier with two occupants, according to police. The car headed north on Pa. 233, police said.

Yeager said Vision Quest is a treatment facility for troubled teenage boys from urban areas. The facility can hold up to 120 youths, she said. Each boy is allowed to call his family once a week, she said.

Neither Yeager nor police could say how many Vision Quest residents leave the facility without permission every year.

There are no fences around the grounds. "It's not that kind of a facility," Yeagher said. "It's a treatment center."

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