When it comes to missing person cases, it’s one thing to vanish into thin air. But what if for the longest time, you’ve felt like you didn’t belong here to begin with and you felt like you belonged somewhere else? That’s how it was for twenty-one-year-old Skye Lynn Budnick, and this is her story.
According to a YouTube video titled Bought One-Way Ticket to Japan And Never Seen Again: Case of Skye Budnick, Youtuber Hailey Elizabeth stated that Skye Budnick was born on February 22, 1987 and had two parents as well as two older siblings named Matthew and Megan. Skye was the youngest of the three children and was described as an easy problem-free child. Skye was never the type to look for trouble or get into trouble, she always kept to herself and lived in her world. She was an introverted person who came from an introverted family, and they never went out a lot to do things together as a family.
Whenever they did go out, it wouldn’t be with other people, it would be just the family.
Out of the three children, Megan was the most outgoing one with many friends and was involved in multiple school activities, while Matthew and Skye bonded over video games. Skye wanted to have friends, but she always faced issues in her pursuit of doing so. Hailey then stated something very important about Skye by saying, “Megan said later on that it was never confirmed by a doctor or it was never officially diagnosed, but they did believe that Skye was probably somewhere on the [autism] spectrum with the way that she acted, with the way that she would respond to things, she had a lot of trouble reading social cues, so sometimes she would blurt out things that weren’t appropriate…”. As a result, Hailey stated that Skye experienced rocky friendships.
According to a Medium article titled A One-Way Ticket to Japan: The Unsolved Disappearance of Skye Budnick, Podcaster Nik Young explained that Skye had a special interest in anime and the Japanese culture when she stated, “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. She always dreamed of one day getting the opportunity to visit, and she was going to make that happen through the international studies course she was taking in school.”
Nik Young explained how Skye was given the chance to study abroad in Japan, but due to her failing grades she had to forgo the opportunity. Skye was also dealing with depression, which ran in her family. According -- to Nik Young, one of the last things Skye said was on her Facebook page which states, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry if my self-loathing depresses you. I’m sorry if my apologizing about my pain aggravates you. But what else can I do? I’m sorry for being weak, and I’m sorry for even typing this up; but I’m tired of this unidentifiable pain. I’m tired of crying for no reason. I’m tired of being scared. But what else can I do?”
Then the day finally came, when Skye left home and was never seen again. In an article published by the TV network program Investigation Discovery, contributing writer Beth Braden explains the day that Skye disappeared and how the family became aware of it by stating, “Budnick, a student at Central Connecticut State University, was last seen in the United States on March 31, 2008. By April 4, 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, 2008, departure date. After landing in Tokyo, her destination was Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands.”
In an article published by ABC News, Megan expressed her fears of her sister Skye traveling to Japan for suicidal reasons when she stated, "She never told any friends or family about this trip, but she has been very depressed, and has always said that she wanted to leave to go to Japan and just kill herself there." Beth Braden also explained how Megan and her mom took immediate action to find Skye by stating, “Megan Lebron, and [Skye’s] 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, 2008, 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.”
It's been 15 years since Skye disappeared, and during this difficult time her sister Megan has been active on TikTok as well as her podcast series Surviving Skye, where she documents her life and explains what it’s like to be a family member of a missing person. One of Megan’s TikTok videos, is about how expensive it is to find a missing person. In episode four of her podcast series, Megan talks about her mental health and how it has been affected by Skye’s disappearance. In episode thirteen of her podcast, Megan shares Skye’s messages from her chats on Facebook Messenger so that people can understand more about Skye’s inner thoughts.
To conclude, have you been in Skye’s shoes wherein you felt like you were quietly drowning, but no one paid attention? Then when you sunk to the bottom, no one noticed you were gone. Skye was suffering in silence, but not even her family knew how bad it was until after she disappeared. She was living in a world that she didn’t think was hers and left not considering that someone would care. Do you? If you know anything about Skye’s whereabouts, please share your information at uncovered.com.
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