Haines City, Florida – Early Wednesday evening a young boy, believed to be 5-6 years old, was found wandering down Bates Rd. Some caring citizens called Haines City Police.
The boy was taken to the police department. According to Haines City Police Chief, Elensky, no one has reported him missing. The child is autistic and appears in good health. They have conducted a ‘reverse’ 911 call to citizens in the area and no feedback yet. Department of Children & Families is at the police department now to take custody of the child. Detectives were called out to start knocking on doors and try to figure out who is his mom and dad.
Shortly afterward the Haines City Police Department was contacted by the Polk County Sheriffs Office regarding parents reporting a missing boy. That boy turned out to be the little boy that was found wandering along Bates Rd. (this area is partially in the county jurisdiction). The boy is actually 8 years old.
Law enforcement along with Department of Children & Families (DCF) went and visited the home & the parents. The dad had went out twice to take out the trash. The home, which was clean and in well order, has special locks, but the dad failed to use them when taking out the trash. The boy slipped out when the dad was not paying attention. It was not immediately noticed that the boy had gotten left the residence. Neither parent has any criminal background. The boy is in very good and healthy condition. Both parents were visibly upset.
Currently no criminal charges were filed, but DCF is involved and will likely continue to follow up with incident that occurred.
Editors note: This was a scary situation, but thankfully a happy ending. Kudos to those that found this boy and contacted authorities and cared for the child until they arrived. Please also be careful in the judgement of the parents. They had contingencies for this occurrence, but accidents do happen. It’s difficult to judge if you have never cared for a child with autism.