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Can Somebody Find Me?

Do you know the feeling of being lost, in a world you don’t understand? Do you know how it feels to be desperate, and wanting somebody to find you when you can’t find yourself? Have you ever had a longing for somebody or something to find you, to truly find yourself? If you’ve felt this way before, then chances are you’re not alone. There are two people, both in real life and fiction, who can relate to those feelings. Skye Budnick, the 21-year-old who traveled to Japan and disappeared on April 1, 2008, according to a blog post that was published on and Ricky, a fictional character from the 2013 film Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, which was directed by Sam Fleischner.

The first thing worth mentioning is that Skye and Ricky were always different from everyone else, and they both struggled in their everyday lives because of this. According to a Roger Ebert article that’s published by Editor Matt Zoller Seitz, Ricky struggles in his life as an autistic person by being seen as a burden and a handful to deal with by his family when he states, “He has a spectrum disorder. His 15-year-old sister (Azul Zorrilla) walks him home from school every day because he has no concept of danger. She's easily irritated by her brother, who's a handful even when he's in a quiet mood, and is prone to sudden, bizarre actions and gestures. Ricky's mother Mariana (Andrea Suarez Paz) dotes on him, while worrying that he'll never be able to live by himself and that his condition is just barely manageable.”

In Hailey Elizabeth’s YouTube video, Skye often struggled because she always kept to herself and lived in her world, due to being an introvert. Skye never had a lot of friends, but always wanted the experience of being with a group of friends. The problem was that Skye had issues in making friends. Hailey also explained that Skye could be autistic. Even though it was never confirmed by a doctor, it was suspected by her sister Megan. Because of her social difficulties, Skye had a history of rocky friendships.

The second thing worth mentioning is that whenever Skye or Ricky felt overwhelmed by the world, they would retreat to something that would often bring them peace. According to an IndieWire article published by Writer Diana Drumm, Ricky’s method of coping with the challenges of life would be going to the beach when she states, “Ricky (Jesus Sanchez-Velez) is a 13-year-old boy who would prefer to feed the seagulls at Rockaway Beach than go to class.” In a Medium article titled A One-Way Ticket to Japan: The Unsolved Disappearance of Skye Budnick, Podcaster Nik Young stated that Skye’s two major interests were anime and Japanese culture by saying, “At the time of her disappearance, Skye was 21 years old and it’s said that she had a real passion for anything related to Japan, like the culture and esthetic but she particularly enjoyed anime and manga.” They were her methods of coping, when everything became too much to bear.

Unfortunately, for Skye and Ricky, even a moment of relief was not enough to bear the burdens of life itself. So, at a time when they felt lost, they left home to go somewhere to be found. According to Matt Zoller Seitz’s article, Ricky left home and ventured to the subway station where he was able to find himself, while his family is thrown into a frenzy as, they try searching for him when he states, “Then Ricky runs away from home. Where is he going? We don't know at first. We're just following along on the streets, on the beach, in the subway. His mother and sister are terrified. Ricky's not supposed to be alone. He can barely function at home in a stable environment. But Mariana can't report the boy's disappearance because the family is undocumented and fears deportation to Mexico. So, they wait, search, make phone calls, and pray. (The scene of Mariana at church is a small miracle of silent acting in close-up.)”

After struggling with depression and losing her opportunity to study abroad in Japan, Sky Budnick took matters into her own hands when the day finally came, that Skye left home and was never seen again. According to an article published by the TV network program Investigation Discovery, contributing writer Beth Braden explained Skye’s disappearance and how the family found out by stating, “Budnick, a student at Central Connecticut State University, was last seen in the United States on March 31, 2008. By April 4, 2008, her worried family members were able to get into her email account and see that she’d purchased a one-way ticket to Japan with an April 1 departure date. After landing in Tokyo, her destination was Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands.”

Beth Braden explained as well that Megan and her mom acted instantly to find Skye by stating, “Skye’s sister, Megan Lebron, and their mother immediately flew to Japan to file a missing person’s report and look for Skye, but there was little to be done because Skye was legally an adult. The only recorded sighting of Skye, after she reached Japan, was on April 7 when an innkeeper in Noboribetsu said Skye told her she was headed to Sapporo, a city on the opposite side of the island from Noboribetsu.”

To conclude, Ricky eventually found his way home and reunited with his family, but Skye is still missing to this day. We don’t know if she will ever be reunited with her family again, and we don’t know if she’s even alive or dead. Skye Budnick felt lost in the world she was living in, and traveled to Japan, the one place that made her feel found as well as understood. Wherever Skye is, I hope that one day she will find peace, find herself, and find her way back home.

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Tags: #Investigation #anime #Investigative #SkyeBudnick #truecrime #japan #SurvivingSkye


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