Just over a week ago, Donald Joy, 16, walked out of the treatment facility where he was staying, with nothing but the clothing on his back.
No one has seen or heard from the teen since, leaving his family desperate for answers as Monday marked eight days that he's been without his medication.
"We are just grabbing at whatever we can to find him," Sharee Joy, Donald's stepmother, told Dateline NBC. "It's a terrifying situation for any parents to be in."
The Joys had placed Donald in the Arrow Project, a center that provides treatment for those with special needs or emotional issues. Donald had been suffering with some emotional issues for some time, and was participating in a 90-day program, according to Sharee.
And it was on Sunday, November 15, that Donald slipped out of the facility during what is said to have been a fight between two other patients. He does not have a cellphone as the center does not allow them.
"He didn't want to be there, but we had to do something to help him," said Sharee. "We just want what's best for him and to get him the help and treatment he needed. He's been struggling a lot lately."
The facility is a two-hour ride from the Joy's home in Calvert County, Maryland. It was first thought Donald may be trying to make his way home. Sharee has raised Donald since he was an infant and he is one of several siblings. The teen also has a relationship with his biological mother, but he has not tried to contact any of his family members.
Police have classified Donald as a critical missing teen because of his medical needs. Several searches have been conducted, but no solid clues as to Donald's whereabouts have been found.
"You don't know how many good people are out there until this type of thing happens," said Sharee. "We just want our son home safely, whatever that takes."
Donald Joy is described as 5'10" tall, weighing 150 lbs. with brown hair and glasses. He may be wearing grey skinny jeans, a black hooded sweatshirt, Nike brand sneakers, and a purple and black hat.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Baltimore County Police Department at (410) 307-2020.