22 Aug 2014
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Missing Teen 'Trusting of Strangers'

Mother of missing Brookfield teen Henry Manning worried learning disorder may have led to abduction.

Missing Teen 'Trusting of Strangers' Missing Teen 'Trusting of Strangers'

Brookfield, Milford and state and local police departments remain on the lookout for 17-year-old Brookfield resident Henry Manning, who was last seen at in Milford Friday evening.

The Brookfield youth has spent time away from home before, but never without some form of communication, according to Manning’s mother, Jenan.

(According to Brookfield police Maj. Jay Purcell, Manning had not been located as of Wednesday morning and the search continues, though there have been no new developments.)

Manning went to Westfield Mall Friday with his girlfriend and a mutual friend, who both live near the mall in Milford and had to be home by a certain time. The two left Manning around 7 p.m., under the assumption that he would find his own way home.

That was the last anyone has heard from Manning, who was .

Milford police spokesman Jeff Nielsen said Tuesday that their department is actively searching for Manning and have been in contact with to assist with the case.

“There have been times where Henry hasn’t come home but never where there’s been no trace of him or nobody’s heard from him,” Jenan said Tuesday during an interview with Patch, attempting to maintain her composure through the ordeal. “He had been calling his girlfriend every night [recently] but nobody’s heard from him.”

Manning, a high school student attending a private school in Fairfield County, suffers from a nonverbal learning disability, which makes it difficult for him to understand body language and certain social cues, Jenan explained, and causes him to be more trusting of strangers.

“That’s our big concern,” she said, “In trying to get a ride home he might get a ride with somebody he just met — it’s part of Henry’s neurology.”

Manning had left the house Friday morning without his cell phone, according to Jenan, who said it was discovered in his room by his brother on Sunday, and speaking with all of his friends has turned up nothing.

The 5-foot 9-inch teen, with brown hair, hazel eyes and several piercings, is a musical savant, according to his mother, who called him a “prolific lyricist and poet” who taught himself the piano and guitar and plays music by ear and memory, never having learned to read notes.

Manning recently collaborated with another student at his school and a producer on his first iTunes release, “Ho Ho Ho (Underneath the Mistletoe)” under the group name Benita and Dank.

“He’s an upbeat guy; really just a talented, gifted musician and a funny kid,” Jenan said. “We’re just hoping to get him home safely.”

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