**UPDATE 8/27: According to his mother, Dustin has been found SAFE! Thank you to all that spread the word and helped bring him home!**

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It has to be, without a doubt, one of the most petrifying feelings for a parent -- to have ZERO idea where your child could be and praying for their well-being and safe return home. And unfortunately, this is a very true reality for Kingfield, Maine mom Alli Merrill.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, 16-year-old Dustin Merrill ran away from his home sometime during the night of Thursday, August 19. In the almost full week that has passed, his family still hasn't seen or heard from him, other than a note he left before he took off which has authorities believing he's heading toward Westbrook.

There was a possible sighting of him last Friday, August 20, in Freeman Township heading south, and according to his mother, Alli, his backpack was found on Lambert Hill in Strong on Monday.

Dustin is about 5'5" and 150 pounds, possibly wearing the clothes described by his mother above. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is asking that if you see Dustin or hear any news about him, to reach out with updates to Franklin County Dispatch at 207-778-6140.

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