23 years ago, SOUL ASYLUM had a huge hit with “Runaway Train”, and the video was dedicated to drawing attention to missing children.
It started with a message about how one million youth are lost on the streets of America. And throughout the video, it showed photos of real life missing children.
They got permission from the families . . . and decided they’d re-cut the video whenever a case was resolved, so they could plug in another missing kid. There are multiple versions of it online, but it’s unclear how many times it was redone.
There were three original versions, each featuring 13 missing kids . . . and now, a reporter did some digging to determine what happened to them.
Sadly, a lot of them never turned up. But one runaway girl came back specifically because she saw herself in the video. Her name is Elizabeth Wiles, and she was 16 when she came back. She said she ran away when she was 13 to be with an older boyfriend. When she saw herself in the video she “freaked out.”
None of the other kids that turned up would talk to the reporter, so it’s unclear if they’d returned on their own, or were found because of the video. A few years back, the director said 26 kids featured in the video had come back.
(You can see Elizabeth Wiles at the 2:50 mark in this version.)