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Two years after his return, Shawn's parents, Pam and Craig, say they have seen their now 17-year-old son grow in confidence and start to move forward with his life. They have each had individual therapy as well as family therapy to help during the recovery process. Pam admits, "[Shawn] doesn't really like to talk about [what happened to him] because he doesn't want to see us cry anymore."

"But it seems now he's standing straight up, his shoulders are back, he's looking forward—you know, he's talking to people with eye-to-eye contact now and just seems to be so much more comfortable with himself. And to know that he's okay and everything that, to me, has been a great, you know, transition in him," Pam says.

Shawn is now in high school and has started to become active in a variety of sports. "He's been racing motocross," Craig says. "There's a lot of what we see every day that reminds us so much of that little 11-year-old kid that disappeared that afternoon. There's a lot of things we'll never be able to bring back, but at the same time, it's still that same Shawn." Craig also says that they have so much to be thankful for. "Number one, having our son back and having our family whole again."

In the time since being reunited with his family Ben Ownby has started the healing process and trying to move forward with his life. Ben's family shared an update on his progress with this statement: "Ben is happy, he's healthy and doing what a normal teenage boy needs to be doing at this time. We're back to being as normal as normal can be."
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FROM: Elizabeth Smart, John Ramsey: The Stories That Captured the Nation
Published on September 10, 2008

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