Autistic boy, 11, rescued after wandering from York home

January 23, 2013 

A York boy with special needs wandered away from home and was rescued by neighbors who responded to a community-wide call for help.

The boy, who is diagnosed with autism, wandered away from his home on Mighty Joe Trail around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a York Police report. Unable to find him, family members called police who began a search for the child with canines tracking his scent.

The trail led through wooded areas and across several pastures and fence lines until ending at a pond. Police feared the boy may be submerged in the water and contacted the land owner.

Meanwhile, emergency officials sent out a reverse 911 call, alerting residents in the area to watch for the missing boy. One resident returned the call and reported seeing the boy walking alongside S.C. 49.

Two other residents after receiving the reverse 911 call began searching for the child in their own vehicle, the report states. They found him wandering alongside the road in the dark, the report states.

Police responded to the scene and found the boy soaking wet and suffering from an apparent onset of hypothermia. The boy told officials he fell into the pond, but managed to climb out.

However, the cold and darkness left him disoriented and unable to find help. He was treated at a hospital and reunited with his family.

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