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Dr. Drew

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Acquitted teen Joshua Young reported missing

  • Young's foster family reported the teen missing after he left home Friday
  • They believe he went to meet with friends
  • Young was acquitted of murder charges in the death of his stepbrother, Trey Zwicker
Acquitted teen Joshua Young reported missing

Joshua Young: Not guilty on all charges

Joshua Young: Not guilty on all charges

*Update 7 p.m. ET: The Courier-Journal reports that police had found and taken Joshua Young into custody around 6 p.m. ET Wednesday to Jefferson County Youth Center for fleeing and evading authorities, a police spokesman said.

A 17-year-old acquitted last month in Kentucky in the death of his stepbrother has been reported missing to Louisville police.

Joshua Young’s foster parents, Chuck and Susan Stoneburner, filed the report Friday, saying that the teen left their Kentucky home to meet with some friends he'd made during his two-year juvenile jail stay, the Courier-Journal reports. The family also noted that he has been using social media.

Susan Stoneburner said she really doesn’t consider Young missing, but told the paper that, as a foster parent, she is still obligated to file a missing person report. She said he is “running around and hanging around with people he met, trying to be 17."

Young's childhood was far from ideal. He had been in and out of foster care several times -- he'd lived with the Stoneburners previously from October 2010 to March 2011, as well -- and his mother died of a drug overdose in 2010. Young's biological father, Josh Gouker, who had custody of the teen in March 2011, had been convicted of 23 crimes dating back to the year 2000.  

It was Gouker who initially accused Young of killing 14-year-old Trey Zwicker, Young's stepbrother and Gouker's stepson, in May 2011. Gouker later pleaded guilty himself, saying that he initially pointed the finger at his son because he thought Young, being a minor, would have gotten a lesser sentence. Gouker was sentenced to life in prison on July 26.  

On August 9, a jury found Young not guilty of murder and tampering with physical evidence in Zwicker’s beating death.

Photos: Joshua Young's reaction to verdict

A spokesman for the sheriff's office told the Courier-Journal that a Fern Creek Traditional High School resource officer has been sent out to look for Young.  

The newspaper's report noted that, in an interview after his acquittal, Young expressed that he was anticipating being a senior at Fern Creek and “hoped to land a spot on the basketball team before going to college.” 

Dr. Drew On Call airs Monday through Thursday on HLN at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Facebook and Twitter @DrDrewHLN.

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