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Community gathers to welcome home missing Lexington teen

Dozens of people gathered at Veterans Park Elementary School for a welcome home party to celebrate 17-year-old Broghan Lorentz.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) - Dozens of people gathered at Veterans Park Elementary School for a welcome home party to celebrate 17-year-old Broghan Lorentz.

"It's going to be hard to ever forget that so many people came out," Lorentz said. He never knew it'd feel so good to be home.

"Thank you so much," he said to a crowd of people. "I could've never gotten home without you."

His parents have been searching for him since earlier this week when he went missing from their home.

"I left home because I felt like I wasn't caring properly for my family," Lorentz said. "Like, I wasn't able to fulfill my duty and to love them how they need to be loved."

Lorentz is 17 years old. Family says he has a frontal lobe disorder, which can impact his decision making, so as days turned into nights without him they didn't get much rest.

Anitra Jump, his mom, said, "Every time it started to get dark is when it was the hardest to stay positive."

Strangers banded together to help this family, but the search ended when Lorentz called home Saturday from Knoxville, Tennessee.

"You're not expecting your kid to call," Jump said. "You've just been out in the woods looking for your child and now the phone rings and they're there and you can't quite put it together. I think my first questions were 'have you ate?' and 'are you warm?'"

What was planned as a prayer vigil turned into a welcome home party. Emily Tillett, a stranger turned friend, had been praying for that outcome.

"I loved how many young people came," Tillett said. "I think it's really important for them to see that they're not alone and there are people that don't even know them that would be here for them if they knew there was a need."

Family is so grateful. They're hoping to pay it forward and help another family, knowing not everyone has brought their loved one home.

Lorentz said, "Just knowing we have so many people supporting us, it's amazing. It really does show what kind of community God is trying to bring together."

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