State differ in their "legal age" concept... It was legal for my son to come and go, anytime of day or night, at the age of 16... even though I assumed legal responsibilty till the age of 18. In fact, if I locked him out, he could file charges against me. For 2 years, I never locked the door to my house and let nature run its course. It was difficult, being the parent on the receiving end, but in the end... he did OK.
Guess what I'm saying is, as far as the legal issues, have an adult talk to DA's, Atty's, Social Workers, asking what it would take to help the parents get him to go home. (Not as an opponent of the parents... you will get two different stories). You may find that the parents have a very difficult legal issue ahead of them.
With that said, a lot of concern has already been expressed about the well-being of all parties - mental and physical...
I would continue to pursue this avenue... ** As I look again to see if Lady Lee posted yet **
I believe that the parents need counseling prior to, and possibly more so, than the child. This statement is not about JW, but rather, as an adult accepting responsibility and humanity... The
kid young man is trying to grow beyond what his parents are capable of supporting. In the end, it may not be about the religion at all (who cares, as long as he is happy)... there is normal rebellion, personal identity, self-respect, and a whole list of emotions he is experiencing without having the coping skills and/or support to handle them.