NEVADA, Iowa -- It was a long train ride for 12 year-old Sebastian Akers. In a move described as outside of his character, the 12-yearold boy hopped on a train and headed west along highway 30. The man Akers was traveling with is Zachary Hollenbeck. Hollenbeck remains behind bars in Platte County, Nebraska.
13 year-old Jacob Huckvale is a friend and classmate of Akers, and he told Channel 13 News in an interview, “I thought he (Sebastian) was like kidnapped because I didn`t think he would run away or anything…it`s unlike him to just do that. He`s usually like at his house.”
Ray Reynolds is the director of the Nevada Fire Department and EMS and is also a Nevada Police Officer. Officer Reynolds telling Channel 13 News that the train that Akers was riding on “didn`t stop until it got to Nebraska, so they were kind of at the mercy of where the train slowed down and it just happened to be Columbus, Nebraska.” Reynolds says Hollenbeck had two outstanding warrants here in Iowa, stemming from an earlier incident, and that Hollenbeck is awaiting trial for a vehicle burglary. Reynolds says at some point Hollenbeck will be extradited back to Iowa, adding "but we`re familiar with Mr. Hollenbeck, just from the standpoint of various reports of seeing him around cars and car prowling and stuff like that."
Sebastian Akers did not return home Tuesday night and surveillance video at a Kum & Go in Nevada showed him and Hollenbeck entering the store. The two later got on a train. Akers was reported missing on Wednesday, and it wasn’t until Thursday night that he and Hollenbeck were located in Columbus. Of the trip, Reynolds telling Channel 13 News, “it sounds like it was more of a runaway type and adventure thing. I think they got way in over their head and I think a 12 year-old was influenced by an 18 year-old young adult to go see the world and so certainly we hope there`s some life lessons to be learned out of this.”
Sebastian’s parents say they had allowed Hollenbeck to stay with them at their home a few weeks ago, after he had been kicked out of his own home. Nevada Police say Hollenbeck could potentially face additional charges connected to the trip to Nebraska.