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Jakarta Post

Missing boy found busking on streets, earning money to play computer games

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 14, 2019   /   06:18 pm
Missing boy found busking on streets, earning money to play computer games Two boys play. JP/Boy T. Harjanto (JP/Boy T Harjanto)

Dian Kristian and Misliyati, a husband and wife from Cakung, East Jakarta, can at last breathe a sigh of relief after their beloved son who had been missing for a month was finally found Saturday.

The couple’s second child, Muhammad Del Piero, did not return home from school one day in September and his whereabouts had remained unknown, prompting Misliyati and her husband to begin a desperate search of their 11-year-old son.

Early last week, a post created by Twitter user @rusakuning went viral, alerting netizens to the plight of Misliyati, who applied for leave from her job with a cleaning service company to look for Del Piero.

“Please spread the word. A woman from my work asked to take leave to search for her missing son who has not come home for a month,” the post read, “she has filed a report to the police but they are doing nothing. So sad.”

The post also attached pictures of Misliyati and a piece of paper containing Del Piero’s personal information, including his physical features and address, as well as Dian’s phone number.

Before the post made the rounds on the internet, Misliyati had filed a missing person report to the Cakung Police in East Jakarta and visited social homes in Cipayung, hoping that she might find his son there. 

“I’ve looked for him at warnet [internet cafes] and around his school where he usually plays with his friends. I’ve also asked his friends but no one could tell me,” she said.

Following weeks of searching, Dian finally received information about his son after several  residents of Klender ─ thanks to the viral Twitter post ─ recognized Del Piero and immediately called Dian on Oct. 12.

"Someone called me and said they found a boy who looked like my son," Dian said on Saturday as reported by kompas.com.

Del Piero was found in Klender, also in East Jakarta, dozens of kilometers away from his family’s house in Cakung.

The people who called Dian at first doubted whether he was actually the boy’s father. However, they began to believe Dian when they asked Del Piero to talk with his father via video call. 

Afraid of being scolded, Del Piero reportedly resisted seeing his father on the video call.

"Del Piero tried to run. But the people caught and held him. Then he confirmed that I am in fact his dad," Dian said. 

Dian then traveled to Klender, where he was finally reunited with his son at around 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Del Piero had apparently been with his friend Rian for the whole month, living on the streets and earning money as street musicians performing around the capital.

"They used the money they earned to play games at warnet," he said. 

Dian said the two boys moved around, performing in public places such as the National Monument (Monas), Senen, Galur and Kemayoran in Central Jakarta ─ all places Dian had visited when looking for his son, though their paths never crossed.

Once, Del Piero and Rian even visited the Bekasi bus terminal in West Java.

"Del Piero told me they slept in random places at night, like at markets and mosques," Dian added. 

The two boys had been staying in Klender for around two weeks, where they sought shelter in a community unit (RW) post. They often ate meals provided by locals.

After being found, Del Piero returned home, while Rian reportedly remained in Klender.

From the moment they realized their son had gone missing, Dian said he and his wife were not worried that Del Piero had been kidnapped, believing instead that he had gone with a friend. 

According to Dian, Rian had asked Del Piero several times to go busking with him in public places near their house.

"When they ran out of money, they would do it all over again," he said.  (vla)