Yesterday, July 7, at approximately 2 p.m. patrol officers from the New Castle County Police were dispatched to the unit block of East Richards Lane, Newark for a missing 7-year-old autistic child.
The child’s mother reported that the child was last seen inside the residence about 15 minutes prior to her calling the police. The officers also learned that the child likes the woods and water but cannot swim.
The officers then located footprints leading into the wooded area. New Castle County Police K-9 Ace and his handler started tracking from these footprints and headed into the tree line.
K-9 Ace tracked into the large wooded area between Richards Lane and Old Coach Rd. After tracking for some time they came upon a couple walking a dog who had found a pair of child’s sneakers. The couple reported that they saw a child matching the description of the missing juvenile about 15 minutes earlier.
According to his handler, K-9 Ace was able to get a better scent from the sneakers and started tracking again on the path through the woods heading towards Polly Drummond Hill Rd. After some time, K-9 Ace and his handler saw the child running over a small wooden bridge.
The child was hesitant to come to the officers at first but was very interested in K-9 Ace. The handler allowed the child to pet K-9 Ace on his back and hold onto K-9 Ace’s rear harness handle to help make the child more comfortable. During the long walk back the child became comfortable enough to be given a piggyback ride by one of the officers. When they came to the closest parking lot (Judge Morris Estates), they were all given rides back to Richard’s Lane by other awaiting officers.
The distance was close to a mile of wooded and hilly terrain from the child’s residence to where the child was found.