A touch of celebrity

Michael Luttrell, right, would rather be riding bikes with his buddy and neighbor, Zack Carpenter or skateboarding, playing video games or trying to get money from his mother, than sitting down for another interview about the kidnapping incident. The Eagle/Marissa Allen

JOHN DAY - Even famous kids have to clean their rooms, 10-year-old Michael Luttrell discovered.

Michael has seen his face on three newspapers - The Oregonian, Albany Democrat-Herald and The Sweet Home News - for being involved in the return of an 11-year-old boy who was kidnapped Oct. 14 by his mother's boyfriend.

That day in Mount Angel, Michael, his father, Mike, who lives in Sweet Home, and Michael's friend, Matthew Dixon, 11, were hunting in the woods near Sweet Home when they came across the kidnapper and the boy, but they didn't know the situation at the time.

Later that evening, Matthew saw a story on the 10 o'clock news about the boy being kidnapped, and Matthew told his mother about what they saw that day while hunting. She didn't believe him at first, but then she decided to call the police.

It was a good call. It led police to the kidnapper and the boy, and that's when 15 minutes of fame started to shine on Matthew and a few rays hit his buddy, Michael, who happened to be at the right spot at the right time.

Matthew became the center of a media blitz, which led to the newspaper stories and an invitation to be interviewed on Good Morning America.

Michael took his first ride in a limousine with Matthew to the set of the television show in Albany.

"I was going to get through the sunroof and then any chicks I saw I'd say, 'Yeah,' " Michael said, as he showed a peace sign with his fingers and blew a kiss to imaginary awestruck girls.

The "ladies man" had his dream denied when Mathew's mother told the boys to not even think about it.

Through the fame and attention of the public, the Spider-man fanatic still keeps grounded.

"Nothing is different," Michael said.

Luttrell lives with his mother, Valerie, who runs the county's emergency dispatch center in John Day; his 8-year-old sister, Mikayla; 20-year-old brother, Eric; and their two dogs, Destiny and Riley.

On his bedroom door, he has a poster announcing, "No Mikayla's or Bopapay's Allowed."

He would rather be riding bikes with his buddy and neighbor, Zach Carpenter, playing Neo (Keanu Reeves) from Matrix, who Michael says he resembles, skateboarding, playing video games or trying to get money from his mother, than setting down for another interview about the incident.

"He hasn't talked about it at all, actually," Valerie Luttrell said.

Through all the fame and glamour, Michael is still the same boy who attends Mrs. Berry's fifth-grade class at Humbolt Elementary, argues with his sister and minds his mother.

"He is pretty good, unless you want him to clean his room. That's a chore," Valerie said.

Michael agreed, with a resigned smirk on his face and a nod of his head.

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