9-year-old stowaway to remain away from home

The 9-year-old boy who managed to sneak onto a plane headed for Las Vegas last month will remain away from his Minnesota home until he can undergo additional testing, per a judge's orders.

Andy King/AP/File
A Northwest Airlines plane takes off from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minneapolis. An unaccompanied 9-year-old boy made headlines after boarding a plane at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport without a ticket.

A 9-year-old boy who hopped a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas last month will remain away from his home for now so he can undergo additional assessments, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Judge Joseph Klein, Hennepin County human services officials, and attorneys for the boy, his mother, and father all agreed that it would be best for the boy to remain in outside custody while a second psychological and neurological assessment is done.

"The child is making some progress in his placement," Assistant Hennepin County Senior Attorney Cory Carlson told Klein at a brief hearing about a child protection petition.

The boy wasn't in the courtroom, but his attorney objected to an assessment done on the boy, prompting the second evaluation, the Star Tribune reported.

Last month, the court ordered individual and family therapy while the boy's mother and father receive parenting training and evaluations. Both parents are allowed to visit and call their son.

The boy's mother, who has legal custody, also is working with his school to have him assessed for special education services.

"She's done everything that has been asked of her," said attorney Bob Paule, who represented the boy's mother. "This has been a very difficult time for her with her son out of the home."

In early October, the boy eluded airport security and stowed away on a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas. He was returned to Minneapolis.

The next hearing will be Dec. 20.

The Associated Press is not naming the child or his parents because it generally does not identify juveniles in court proceedings.

AP previously reported that the boy passed through security screening in Minneapolis on October 3 after arriving via light rail, according to Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan. The boy then boarded a Delta flight that left for Las Vegas 45 minutes later.

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