Parents Say Shawn Hornbeck Will Testify If Necessary
The abducted teen is ready to testify at a trial, his parents said today.
May 25, 2007 — -- For Pam and Craig Akers, seeing their son Shawn Hornbeck again was a day they had prayed for for more than four years.
Hornbeck was abducted when he was 11 years old as he rode his bike in a St. Louis suburb in October 2002.
Now 15, Hornbeck was rescued earlier this year, along with 13-year-old Ben Ownby, who was abducted four days earlier.
The boys were found at the apartment of 41-year-old pizzeria manager Michael Devlin -- just 60 miles from Hornbeck's home.
Today is National Missing Children's Day. With summer approaching and children spending more time outdoors and out of sight, it's a time for parents and all adults to be especially vigilant.
It was an emotional reunion for the Akers, who said they had never lost hope that they would one day be reunited with their son.
"This is a day that we honor the children that are still missing, a day we rededicate ourselves to finding those children, and a day of giving hope to those families," Craig Akers said today on "Good Morning America."
In the 4½ months since returning from his terrible ordeal, Hornbeck's family has kept him out of the public eye as he goes through the wrenching ordeal of reclaiming his life.
The Akers told "GMA" that Shawn is studying hard at home and wants to graduate on time with his old classmates.
"It's going pretty good. We're trying to get back to somewhat of a normal life. We take it one day at a time," Pam Akers said. "Shawn is catching up with his schoolwork, doing things that are needed to be done."
This week Devlin appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, sexual assault and attempted murder in Hornbeck's case.
The Akers, who appeared on "GMA" with their attorney Scott Sherman, indicated that if the case goes to trial, Hornbeck would be prepared to testify against Devlin.
"We're prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure that justice is done in this situation," Craig Akers said. "So we'll just take it one day at a time. If that's what has to happen, we'll be ready."
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