Exclusive: Mother of Missing Boy Expresses Gratitude After Successful Search

Adriana Pietta
Adriana Pietta

LANIKAI (KHNL) -- A woman from Switzerland is expressing her gratitude, after tips from the public helped Honolulu police find her missing child. Officers located the boy, who has a genetic disorder, late Thursday night.

Julian Barmettler hits the beach in Lanikai. But his mind is most likely on food. He has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes his speech impairment, learning disabilities and insatiable appetite.

"The brain doesn't tell them that they have enough food," Adriana Pietta, Julian's mother, said. "They don't have the fulfillment in the belly. I mean, the brain doesn't give that connection."

She believes Julian left their vacation home in Lanikai Thursday morning in a quest for food and adventure. By nightfall, the mother of three was in a panic.

"I hope nobody has to go through this feelings which you have," she said. "It's really bad. It's like you're dying."

But as soon as a photo of the missing child aired on TV, tips poured in to 911 and Crimestoppers.

"I heard there's many phone calls," Pietta said. "There's great people here. I'm mean, the people care so much. I'm not used to that."

Police finally caught up with the 11-year-old in McCully at about 11 p.m.

"What really, really astonished me is the help of the police. I mean, I've never had that. He run away in Switzerland, too," Pietta said. "But they were always checking on me, if I'm doing fine, if I need help."

A happy ending, as the family wraps up its two-week stay in Hawaii Saturday.

"I'm really, really, really happy because I don't know what I would have done otherwise," Pietta said.

Julian got around by catching the bus. Callers reported seeing the boy during the course of the day in Chinatown, East Honolulu and Waikiki.