UPDATE: The Bronx boy who was missing has been found and was safely brought home. PIX11 News has updated this post to remove the name and image of the missing individual.
THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) – The mother of a 15-year-old boy with autism who bypassed his school bus last Wednesday, was frantic to get him home and appealing on Facebook for help.
“I got a call from the bus company at 3:02 p.m. saying he isn’t on the bus,” the mother wrote in her post. “The detectives checked cameras nearby the school, saw he got on the BX5 bus. He has never traveled alone.”
The child attends Gotham Collaborative High School on Lafayette Avenue and participates in its inclusion program. He is high-functioning and verbal, his mother said.
“He had asked to go to the bathroom,” the mother said in her post. “The para escorted him to go to the bathroom… Then, the para walked he down the stairs with a group of kids to get on the school bus. The para was by the exit door while the kids walked out… He was walking past the students and left in a different direction without the para noticing that he had (gone) a different way.”
The mother said security camera footage showed her son walking out of the school at 2:50 p.m. The BX5 bus stop is located on Southern Boulevard.
The NYPD put out a notice about the incident last Thursday but the student was still missing as of Monday morning.
Family posters noted the child is 5’4″, about 110 pounds, and athletically fit. He was last seen wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt, blue pants, and blue/white Nike sneakers. He was carrying a black Nike bag.
One photo provided by his family showed him sitting on a training machine inside a gym.
The mother texted PIX11 News Sunday and said she had just been “processing everything and going out as much as I can to find my son.”
Erin Daly-Spano, a missing persons advocate, has been trying to help the family and said the mother received a photo indicating the missing boy may have been treated at Bellevue Hospital using an alias.
Other tips indicated he was seen in a park.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).