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USA Indian Teen Missing In L.A. Found Safe In Merced Co


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
A little dirty and little hungry but in good health considering everything he's been through – that's how an off duty Merced County Sheriff's Deputy found a missing teen. Lovedeep Singh vanished June 23rd during his first trip to Los Angeles. He was on an educational tour from India.

By Norma Yuriar

Merced County, Calif. (KMPH News) – Members of the Nanak Sikh Temple in Merced County say there's only one way to explain how a 15–year–old visiting the U.S. from India was found safe in the central valley hundreds of miles from where he vanished during his first trip to Los Angeles.

"You can say God was by his side and so was the community," Ravin Deep said.

It was the Los Angeles Police Department who initially put out a missing person's report on June 23rd.

Lovedeep who speaks very little English was part of an educational tour visiting L.A. from India when he disappeared. The group was on their way to San Francisco.

"Lovedeep wandered off from the group to go take some of his own pictures," Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin said.

At that point the lost teen was befriended by a cab driver.

"The taxi cab driver gave him some money to get a Greyhound bus ticket and was headed to San Francisco."

When the bus arrived in Merced – Lovedeep heard the announcer mention San Francisco so he got off the bus thinking he was in the bay area.

"I don't know how he got this confused with San Francisco – it doesn't look anything like San Francisco," Merced Resident Pauline Apodack said. "But, then again he doesn't know his way around... so I can see why he would think that."

What investigators are still trying to figure out is how the 15–year–old made it from Merced to Livingston.

"He evidently had been foraging for food over the past 10... even 15 days," Pazin said.

The sheriff says it's possible the hungry and tired teen hitch hiked and ended up at the Sikh temple.

"The Sikh temple always helps people that are lost to find a safe place," Deep said.

Temple leaders contacted Merced County Sheriff's Deputy Tarlochan Sohal on Wednesday.

"Just coincidentally, Deputy Sohal has family from the same village that Lovedeep is from."

Deep is thrilled to know Lovedeep is now safe and on his way back home to India.

"That's pretty exciting, good adventure but kind of scary at the same time," Deep said. "That's quite a story to tell his parents back home."



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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
More coverage on the India side. Amazing story.

Missing Indian Teen Traced in California

A 15-year-old Indian boy, who had gone missing in the US last month, has been found and is expected to return to India soon. Lovedeep Singh was found in good condition in California's Merced city. Police authorities said they did not suspect any foul play in Singh's disappearance for

almost a month.
Singh, who could not speak English, was on an educational tour when he disappeared in Los Angeles on June 23.

Police said he may have accidentally become separated from his group.

He is currently in the custody of Los Angeles County child welfare officials and arrangements are being made to send him back to India.

Singh had been wandering in Merced County and foraging for food. He befriended a taxi driver, who gave him money to take a bus to San Francisco.

Lovedeep stepped off the bus in Merced, thinking he was in San Francisco and somehow made his way to one of Livingston's Sikh temples where other Indians contacted authorities and also Singh's family in India.