Teen Tipster Gets Free Vacation

9 years 7 months 4 days ago July 18, 2007 Jul 18, 2007 Wednesday, July 18 2007 Wednesday, July 18, 2007 4:17:58 PM CDT in News
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It's been a busy year for Mitch Hults.

I've been doing hay out in Bourbon with my grandpa," said Mitch Hults, the teen who helped find Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. "And I've been up there for a couple of weeks, and now I'm on vacation."

And he's done plenty to earn that vacation time.

Back in January, Mitch provided St. Louis authorities with information that helped police find Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck.

The information also led to the arrest of accused kidnapper Michael Devlin.

At the lake, the tourism industry wanted to show their gratitude for what Mitch did.

"We heard about this story and decided there had to me something we could do to let Mitch know how much we appreciate what he's done, and to have a true hero here at the Lake of the Ozarks," said Rebcecca Green with the Tri-County Lodging Association.

In honor of his good deed, Mitch and his family received a four-day, all-expense paid vacation at TanTara.

"It's nice of everyone to do everything that they've been doing for us, and we really appreciate it," said Sheri Hult's, Mitch's mom.

While Mitch isn't shy about his hero status, he is ready for some peace and quiet.

"I'm just glad everything's getting back to normal," said Hults.

He's also ready for some good summer fun.

For his role in finding Ownby and Hornbeck, Mitch also received his own truck and his family will go on an African safari later this year.

He also got to see one of his favorite comedians, Larry the Cable Guy.

Meanwhile, the trial of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby's accused kidnapper could begin within six months.

Michael Devlin's attorneys have asked for an expedited trial date. They also may request a change of venue next month.

In a related development, the task force looking into Devlin's possible ties to other missing children cases has folded.

The task force spent nearly six months looking into several cold cases.

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