Daniel Yuen: Can you help find him?

As parents we want to do good by our children.  We want to give them opportunities to do good themselves.  Sometimes, especially when our children become teenagers the relationship can get rocky.

What used to make them happy is now met with a sour face.  They used to spend hours reading and doing their homework, now they will barely crack open a book.   Once a cheerful little child, now a moody, silent teen that can’t seem to explain why he has become so rebellious.  Everything you try only seems to make matters worse, but as a parent you never give up.  You try discipline and talking and lots of love, but even with that, you still can’t reach your child.  You see them sinking further into depression and your anxiousness grows as you are afraid they might do the unthinkable.  So out of desperation and fear that you will lose your child forever, you reach out for help.

That is what the family of Daniel T. Yuen did.  Daniel stopped going to high school after he broke up with his girlfriend and was becoming increasingly quiet and withdrawn.  The family tried everything to cheer him up, but they couldn’t reach him.  They decided they did not know enough about the modern teenage years to give the help Daniel needed.  They felt an environment where he would be surrounded by people that specialized in this area for guidance and help would be the answer.

Daniel Yuen as a teenager

After interviewing several places, the Yuen family felt that the CEDU School on the 3400 block of Seymour Road in Running Springs, Calif. in San Bernardino County was the right choice.  It offered therapeutic help and support that they felt Daniel needed.

“We found a nice upscale boarding school that was supposed to have a safety net environment in San Bernardino Valley, California,”Lisa Yuen, Daniel’s mother told Missing Persons of America. “We were convinced by the schools administrators that they could help Daniel. We thought we were leaving him in good hands. We were the victims of good sales people. We were fooled. Daniel ran away 2 weeks later.

Shortly after Daniel arrived he told his parents he wanted to come home, that he was afraid and would run away if he could not come home.  Before his parents could rush to his side, Daniel was gone.

CEDU School is located in a remote area, but Route 18 is a mile away

“I was shocked with horror when I got the call that he was missing,” Daniel’s mom, Lisa told Missing Persons of America.

The year was 2004, and Daniel has been missing every since.

Doing some research about CEDU, I found that Daniel may have had a good reason to run from CEDU.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office stated that over the years, the CEDU campus had generated a large number of calls to the Sheriff’s Department from everything from runaway students to reports of abuse in incorrigible youngsters.

“Since January,” Corporal James Bergendahl from the Sheriff’s Twin Peaks told Michael P. Neufeld in his April 2005 story about CEDU’s bankruptcy, “we’ve probably averaged 30-40 responses to CEDU a month.  It was generally higher in the summer months.  We did tie up a lot of man hours out there.”

In that same article, a former CEDU student stated, “Many of us can now move forward knowing that no other adolescents will have to go through such a traumatic experience.”

Interestingly though, Roseanne Barr, Rodd Stewart, Montel Williams and Barbara Walter’s children were alumnus of CEDU, as well as Paris Hilton and the brother of Rob Lowe.

Treatment information on a brochure
for CEDU was not the same treatment
that the teens received

While doing my research I found that during a non-compliance conference CEDU was found to have violated the rights of children under its care.  Two lawsuits were pending in San Bernardino Superior Court against CEDU, citing patterns of neglect and abuse at two CEDU facilities.   In 2005, CEDU Running Springs was closed.  The reason sited was bankruptcy, but many believed it was because of the lawsuits.

After Daniel went missing CEDU turned the Yuen’s over to the authorities when they arrived.  The authorities felt Daniel had left on his own and labeled him as a run away.

“My husband and I took the first available fight to San Bernardino. The school could not provide more information and asked us to work with the police department,” said Lisa. “We contacted every possible source – police departments, missing child organizations and churches – no help. We hired a number of the Private Investigator professionals – no luck.”

After several sightings of Daniel the Yuen family believe that Daniel is out there somewhere.

“We were lost in this maze of official/semi-professional and at times dishonest groups with no-one to guide us. The burden was on us to figure out what happened, where he went,” said Lisa.  “We made a number of the trips to the west coast, contacted different authorizes, talked to so many people. I came up empty-handed and broken hearted.”

Regardless, the family has not stopped searching for Daniel.  They have talked with other family members and old friends in New Jersey and none of them have said they have spoken with him.  They have left messages all over including social media to let them know they miss him and want him to return home, but he has not answered.

The Yuen family are desperately trying everything they can to  get a message to their son, but without knowing where he is they don’t know if he knows they are looking for him.

As a parent myself, I could not imagine spending one day without talking with my sons, so I can understand how the Yuen’s feel, but maybe Daniel does not understand.  Maybe Daniel doesn’t know they miss him badly, or even know his parents are trying to find him.

Maybe Daniel thought or maybe even was told they didn’t want him back and his parent’s had abandoned .  Maybe Daniel was too young to understand his parents’ actions were meant to help him and support him and care for him with all the love they had in their hearts.

So, that is why this post is here.  To let Daniel know that his parents want him in their lives.  They have always been proud of him and have always supported him and want to continue to do so and hope he gets this message.

And maybe, just maybe, he has a child of his own and he knows what it is to be a parent, and how all the good intentions in the world can sometimes be misunderstood by a child.

And maybe Daniel is ready to reconnect with his parents, but he doesn’t know how.

Daniel if you are out there, if you are reading this, please know that your parents love you and miss you.  They want to be reunited with you and will do so under any terms that you require.

“Time has passed, the hurt runs deep,” said Daniel’s dad, Wayne. “Parents do things that may seem right at the time, but are terribly wrong when looked back on. We are so sorry for the hurt, and want another chance. There is time to mend this pain, put this situation behind us and start again. You have to forgive us! We love you and want you back.”

Daniel could be anywhere, but the last sightings of him was in the San Diego area.  For those of you in San Diego, credible sightings were at the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve waterfall shortly after he disappeared.  He has also been seen on a bus on Mira Mesa Blvd. and Black Mountain Road heading to UTC.  He could also be in the Los Angeles, Riverside or Orange County area.  And of course, he could have returned to New Jersey.

Please if you have seen him, please if you know him, please Daniel if you see this – please email us, our friend, your sister – someone to bring us all together again. Come home to mommy and me.
Love, Daddy and Mommy and Sis

If you know where Daniel is, please contact:  Friendsofdanieltyuen@gmail.com or leave an anonymous tip here.  Thank you for your help!

Read about The Tierra Blanca Ranch School and what was going on there.

There has been two other teens that left CEDU and are classified as runaway’s and have never been seen since.

John Inman
Blake Wade Pursley  

About Missing Persons Admin 4449 Articles
Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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