OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Parents of a missing Madison County teenager are offering a $5,000 reward for information on where their son might be. Tyler Culberson, 17, is still missing after he left a Jackson County halfway house without permission Friday night. He was last seen at Mercy House Ministry in Hurley at 11:00 p.m. Friday night.
Culberson is described as having blond hair and blue eyes, and a tattoo of a red and black cross on the outside of his right ankle. He's 5'6" tall and weighs 130 pounds.
His parents, Mark Culberson and Amy Bearden, told WLOX News they were on their way to remove him from Mercy House Ministry in Hurley Saturday when they found out he was missing.
Culberson and Bearden said their son was in the facility on a Madison County Court order they had initiated. They said they asked the Mercy House staff to tell their son they were going to pick him up, but the message was never passed on.
Mercy House officials told WLOX News they did not pass on the message because they did not want to facilitate Culberson breaking his court order by leaving. Culberson and Bearden said they had taken proper legal steps to remove their son.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department has listed Tyler Culberson as a missing person. Captain Bruce Nevels said Culberson could face charges in Madison County after leaving the facility.
"We're looking for him as a missing person," Nevels said. "We're concerned about his well-being and safety, and that's the reason we're doing all we can to locate this young man."
Tyler's parents had an emotional message for their son.
"Everything right now can be straightened out," Culberson said. "It's not a matter of Tyler being in trouble; its not a matter of any of that. It's a matter of, Hey, Tyler, we realized the mistake as soon as we saw it. We've been working on your behalf to correct it. I'm sorry you didn't get the message. We really want to correct this and get you in an environment where you can finish your school."
You can call the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, if you have information on his whereabouts. That number is (228) 769-3063. The family has also opened a hotline. The number is (601) 238-6158.