Skip to main content

Teen Dustin Self Goes Missing After Setting Out to Live in Wilderness

A teen who was inspired to live in the wilderness by documentary "Into the Wild," is missing after he set off on his own journey.

Dustin Self, 19, is from Oklahoma City and said he wanted to find himself by living in the wilderness. 

A search began on Tuesday for the teen after his parents said they hadn't heard from him since March 15 and a rancher found his truck on a backcountry road.

When rescue crews went to look around the mountain, they saw no tracks. They were continuing to look more but heavy snow and winds made it difficult to go on.

Once there is a break in the weather, authorities plan to take up a plane and look for him.

"We did everything we could to try to talk him out of it," his mother Tammy said. "He was leaving no matter what."

He had purchased a lot of gear before he left, but he had no experience living in the wild besides going on family camping trips.

"He is not a survivalist," his father Victor said. "He is a very urban child."

On March 15, he called from a parking lot of a motel in northern Nevada where he said he was spending the night in the cab of his pickup truck.

On March 16, he called his girlfriend in Austin, Texas to tell her he was lost after his GPS sent him on a road on the east side of Steens Mountain.

A storekeeper in Fields said they remembered him asking for directions to Lakeview, which took him in a different direction than where his truck was.

Dustin read many books before he left, including "Human Race: Get Off Your Knees" by David Icke.

He also watched Into the Wild, a movie about a young man who gave up his life to live in the Alaskan wilderness.

"I think he got a lot off the Internet," Tammy said.

She said Dustin is a vegetarian and does not have any desire to kill animals for food.

"He thought he was going to eat berries," she said. "We tried to tell him, berries don't grow in wintertime."

Inside his truck were his keys, computer, GPS and some of his protein bars. His backpack and camping gear were gone.

"We're worried sick," his father said. "I just hope he's alive."

Sources: Daily Mail, ABC News


Popular Video