TODAY   |  April 29, 2014

Teen stowaway’s mom: ‘He misses me’

The mother of the teen stowaway who flew from California to Hawaii in the wheel well of a commercial airplane is speaking out from Ethiopia, saying her son missed her and actually wanted to fly to Africa. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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>>> an update now on the teen stowaway who flew from california to hawaii in the wheel well of a commercial airplane. the boy's mother is speaking out now from ethiopia, saying family drama led her son to take the adventurous risk. nbc's keir simmons is in london with more. keir, good morning.

>> reporter: hey, natalie, good morning. it turns out he just missed his mom. that california teen who apparently hid in the wheel well of a plane for that death defying journey is said to have not seen his mom for eight years. the teen stowaway who risked his life in a 2,000-mile journey on a 767 was reportedly trying to get here. a dusty refugee camp . a hut covered by blankets, and his mom. who cries when she talks about what he did. he tried to fly to africa , just to see me, she says. he misses me. the boy, 15, lives in california with his dad and step mom . he snuck on to the san jose tarmac and apparently climbed into a plane's wheel well to make a journey few survive, landing in hawaii, but africa , his mom's home in ethiopia, was his destination, she says, claiming his dad told him she was dead. his dad took my children to the u.s. without my knowledge, she says. she hopes to move to california so she can be finally reunited with a son who took a terrifying risk just to see his mom. the dad says the boy is just struggling to adjust to life in the u.s. officials in africa reportedly say that mom could manage to get to the u.s. within a year, which just goes to prove that there's nothing quite like the bond between a boy and his mom.

>> just breaks your heart to see that. keir simmons in london, thank you.